Thailand’s market for cosmetics market grew to more than US$7 billion in 2016, according to the Economic and Commercial Section of China’s Consulate in Chiang Mai. This puts Thailand at 1/6 of China’s massive US$44 billion cosmetics market.
Addressing the Thailand stop on the China Beauty Expo’s (CBE) World Tour, Ketmanee Lertkitcha, President of the ASEAN and Thailand Cosmetics Association note that, “Based on quality, product range, raw materials, or packaging, Thai cosmetics companies stand out among the ASEAN Cosmetics Associations 400 members.”
Additional data from China’s Consulate General support Ketmanee Lertkitcha’s points, as she emphasized, “Now, Thailand is the largest cosmetics manufacturing country within ASEAN and ranks 3rd within the overall Asia-Pacific region. Thailand is not only the largest hair exporter, but it also is the world’s 12th largest supplier of skin care products.”
Through CBE, 7,000 Companies Can Access a Much Bigger Market
China Consular data indicates that Thailand has emerged as a prime cosmetics R&D center in ASEAN and even the broader Asia-Pacific region. Recognized Thai brands such as Mistine have already broken into international markets. Other Thai manufacturers have become sought after OEMs for leading Asian and European brands.
The introduction of zero tariffs on imported cosmetics and competition among more than 7,000 small cosmetics suppliers suggests that Thailand’s cosmetics industry will face some near-term headwinds. Growing interest in CBE 2017 and the 200 companies that attended the Thailand stop on CBE’s World Tour indicate that Thailand’s suppliers are looking to China for new opportunities.
Experts Promote China’s Beauty Industry
In her welcome and opening address, Ketamee Lertkitcha explained, “if Chinese companies intend to enter the Thai market, there will be no tariffs and not animal testing requirements. Just a registration, and it only takes 1 to 2 weeks to complete the inbound customers procedures.”
Later, Supavat Puckdee, Creative and Business Director, of “Thailand’s 1st Make Brand”, Mistine, answered questions about the company, its strategies for entering China, and the challenges it encountered. He shared strategies for entering China with the other 200 participants. Ms. Sang Ying, Secretary-General of China Beauty Expo, also shared her ideas and suggestions on China sales and distribution channels, strategies for engaging Chinese consumers, the consumption habits of young consumers, and hot product categories.
The Director of Nielsen’s FMCG group also offered views on trends in China’s personal care market, young consumer preferences, and top selling products in major categories. Eva Wang, Business Development Manager of the Cosmetics Department of Hangzhou Reach 24H, built on these comments by suggesting procedures for cracking the China market, explaining important government regulations, and highlighting common problems and solutions.
Experts agreed that Thai companies need to create a strong brand strategy if they want to crack the Chinese market. Matthieu Rochette-Schneider, General Manager of France’s Centdegres creative agency recommended approaches for both China and other international markets. Claudia Bonfiglioli, General Manager of Informa Beauty Expos and International Business Development Director for Shanghai Baiwen Exhibition Company, introduced CBE near-term international expansion plans and how it is addressing fashion, technology, and innovation.
CBE wrapped up its Thailand stop by conferring the honorary title “CBE Thai Ambassador” on Ketmanee Lertkitcha in recognition of her contributions to CBE and Sino-Thailand cosmetic industry relations. In this role, Ketmanee Lertkitcha noted that she has already organized key Thai industry decision-makers from more than 200 Thai companies to participate in CBE 2018. She said, “as the world’s largest beauty expo, CBE is extremely appealing to Thai companies. The number of Thai companies keeps rising. Next year it should far surpass 200.”