Jakarta, 18 February 2011

Valued at USD 10 billion in 2009, ASEAN’s cosmetic and personal care export products “serve as a model for other industries in ASEAN,” said the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community. Cosmetic exports pulled in over USD 5 billion for the region – an increase of 1.5% from the previous year. Although imports saw a 4% decline year on year, it still amounted USD 4.59 billion for the same year. And with the Asia-Pacific posting strong economic growth, the sector is expected to stay robust.

c“No doubt, the cosmetics industry in the region remained resilient despite the global economic downturn due to the financial crisis,” continued DSG S. Pushpanathan.

Supporting the assessment, Singapore’s Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, noted that “with a sizeable and young population of 600 million, ASEAN is a market for many consumer goods including household and personal care industry.”

Both DSG Pushpanathan and Minister Lee were speaking at the opening of the ASEAN Cosmetics Association Cosmetic Leaders Forum 2011 in Singapore.

Minister 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.

DSG Pushpanathan highlighted the benefits of an integrated ASEAN, and the various Free Trade Agreements that ASEAN has entered into. 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 Harmonised Cosmetic Regulatory Scheme, 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). This regional patent cooperation project will make it easier for entrepreneurs to obtain patents on their innovations in the region. The ASEAN IP DIRECT will also provide a one-stop source for ASEAN Member States’ IP legislation, dispute resolution bodies, sources for grants/loans and government incentives for investment in technology and R&D, technology transfer/licensing offices, rights management organisations, IP awareness and public education.

The ASEAN Cosmetics Association Cosmetic Leaders Forum 2011: Towards the ASEAN Economic Community was organised by the ASEAN Cosmetics Association, an ASEAN-affiliated Civil Society Organisation since 2001. The Chairman and President of the ACA also participated in the Forum.