Beauty industry puts on best face for Asean launch
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Beauty industry puts on best face for Asean launch

Makers of cosmetics and other beauty products see great export potential in Asean markets once a single market is formed late next year.

Thailand's herbal cosmetics receive a good market response from consumers, both at home and abroad. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD

The Thai Cosmetic Manufacturers Association (TCMA) said Thailand was considered a regional production hub for cosmetics.

The industry was valued at 210 billion baht last year — 60% domestic sales and 40% exports.

It has had average annual growth of 18% over the past five years, and the rising momentum will continue this year despite effects from political tensions.

"We expect the export value of cosmetics and beauty products will surge to 200 billion baht by 2020 thanks to the Asean Economic Community. A single market with 603 million people will produce a lot of demand," a TCMA spokesman said.

Anuchana Vichvech, a project director at UBM Asia (Thailand), organiser of Asean Beauty 2015, said Thai cosmetics and beauty products were widely accepted in Asean due to high quality, advanced production technology and good raw materials.

Among the categories with the most potential are skin care, cosmetics and hair care.

Several big factories have been hired as original-equipment manufacturers to produce cosmetics for global brands for years, so their production quality has improved to international standards.

Thai brands such as Harnn & Thann have been recognised internationally for natural skincare and home spa products.

Leading consumer product companies such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Kao have used Thailand as production bases and developed products to suit Asean people's lifestyles.

Mrs Anuchana said Thais were modern and followed new fashion and cosmetics trends. Even during the 1997 economic crisis, cosmetics sales did not drop.

She estimates cosmetics sales will grow by no less than 10% this year. The industry is comprised of about 800 companies.

Asean Beauty 2015 will be held at Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre next April 8-10.

This event will be a chance for small producers to meet foreign buyers and showcase products for hair, skin, make-up, manicures, spas, soaps and toiletries.

The fair organiser expects the business-matching value will reach 2.6 billion baht. About 55% of 200 booths have been reserved already.

Target visitors are local and foreign cosmetics distribution firms, beauty and spa centres and travel agents. 

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