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Cosmetics serve as model for other industries in ASEAN market

By Andrew McDougall , 24-Feb-2011
Last updated on 24-Feb-2011 at 17:39 GMT

As the Asia-Pacific region posts strong economic growth, the deputy secretary-general of ASEAN has stated the cosmetic and personal care export products ‘serve as a model for other industries' in the region.

Following reports that the cosmetic exports pulled in over $5bn for the region - an increase of 1.5 percent from the previous year, S. Pushpanathan stated: “No doubt, the cosmetics industry in the region remained resilient despite the global economic downturn due to the financial crisis.”

Speaking alongside Pushpanathan at the opening of the ASEAN Cosmetics Association Cosmetic Leaders Forum 2011, Singapore’s minister of State for Trade and Industry, Lee Yi Shyan supported the deputy secretary-general’s comments.

“With a sizeable and young population of 600 million, ASEAN is a market for many consumer goods including household and personal care industry,” he said.

Lee also pointed out the importance of ASEAN economic integration to the cosmetics industry.

“The ASEAN Economic Community will allow goods, services, investments and capital to flow more seamlessly within the region. It will mean lower transaction costs and larger market for our businesses,” he added.

Benefits of an integrated ASEAN

Pushpanathan highlighted the benefits of an integrated ASEAN, and the various Free Trade Agreements that the association has entered into, stating that these efforts have helped to create a larger market for ASEAN products and services, while attracting foreign direct investment.

He also noted that initiatives like the ASEAN Harmonized Cosmetic Regulatory Scheme, which lays down the requirements for cosmetics products, will facilitate the development of a common standard for the industry, while concerns over Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) would be addressed by the ASEAN Patent Search and Examination Cooperation (ASPEC).

Although imports saw a four percent decline year on year, it still amounted $4.59bn, and with Asia-Pacific posting strong economic growth, the sector is expected to stay robust, according to the Association of South-East Asian Nations.

Big player moving in

Cosmetics giant L’Oreal has seen the potential in the ASEAN market, following the announcement that it will build its largest ever factory in Indonesia.

Speaking at a news conference at the company’s South Jakarta headquarters, L’Oreal Indonesia president Jean-Christophe Letellier said: “the Asean market is growing very fast so we have decided to build one hub that will support the growth and accommodate the entire region.”

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