The recent edition of Cosmoprof CBE ASEAN put a spotlight on an area of the world that continues to grow in a steady and balanced way. It is prime for development, especially for an industry like hair & beauty.

The opportunities offered by ASEAN countries include a large population with growing purchasing power and advanced manufacturing expertise, mostly OEM/EDM. This already makes them a primary supplier of beauty products to Asia more generally.

According to the international analysts of Euromonitor International, the Southeast Asian markets are recording double-digit growth year-on-year. Malaysia has the highest average annual growth rate in the region for the 2024-2028 period, with a projected growth of 16%. The Philippines are registering great results, too, with an expected growth in 2024 of 11%. A similar increase is projected for Thailand‘s average annual turnover.

Together, its member states represent a population of over 600 million over a land area of 4.5 million km2. ASEAN countries can benefit from free trade agreements with China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong.

The role of Thailand as a member of ASEAN group becomes central to perfecting the cooperation of this political and economic union of 10 states in Southeast Asia. The country hosts the highest number of local manufacturers in the region, mostly OEM/EDM, and serves as a primary supplier of beauty products to major markets such as China, South Korea, and Japan. Many international brands chose Thailand as their production center, thanks to investments offered by the Thai government for cosmetics brands for up to 8 years, with easy access to high-quality ingredients and raw materials, and lower costs compared to neighbouring countries.

Prospects are encouraging: the ASEAN region is expected to remain among the world’s fastest-growing regions in the next decade. First of all, Indonesia, already the largest ASEAN economy, is set to become a leading global emerging market, with its GDP projected to rise from USD 1.3 trillion in 2022 to USD 4.1 trillion by 2035.

Vietnam and the Philippines are also anticipated to join the ranks of major emerging markets by 2035. Additionally, Malaysia is on track to become an advanced economy in the Asia-Pacific region, with a per capita GDP of around USD 26,000 by 2035. Consequently, ASEAN, along with mainland China and India, will be a key driver for economic growth in the APAC region during the coming decade.

Paolo Maggi

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