Vietnamese spend billions of VND on imported cosmetics
VietNamNet Bridge - Reports from the Trade Map of ITC (International Trade Center) and the World Bank show that Vietnam imported $500 million worth of cosmetics in 2011 and $1.1 billion in 2016, while the figure is expected to double by 2020 to $2.2 billion.


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Within one hour, Ha, the owner of a cosmetics shop on Xa Dan street in Hanoi, had vast sales of VND10 million. 

Ha has been running the shop for the last three years and has had an annual growth rate of no less than 20 percent.

Thuy, an office worker, came to the shop during the lunchtime, looking for new lipstick product with the advertised sale price of VND1 million. 

Thuy could not estimate how much money she spends on cosmetics every year, but she said she bought 4-5 lipstick products in the last three months.

A Euromonitor International report showed that the value of Vietnam’s cosmetics market, 90 percent of which are imports, two years ago exceeded the $1 billion threshold ago and has witnessed two-digit growth rates. 

Vietnam imported $500 million worth of cosmetics in 2011 and $1.1 billion in 2016, while the figure is expected to double by 2020 to $2.2 billion.
Meanwhile, the budget that consumers will reserve for cosmetics is expected to increase to 1.2 percent after three years, from 0.4 percent at the end of 2011.

According to ITC, Singapore, the EU, Thailand and South Korea are the biggest cosmetics exporters to Vietnam. 

Regarding European exporters, while the imports from France and Italy have decreased recently by 16 percent and 3 percent, respectively, imports from Spain, Germany and Ireland have increased by 2-16 percent.

According to the General Department of Customs (GDC), in the first two months of the year, the import value of fragrances, cosmetics and toiletries from Singapore alone reached $30 million, while imports from Italy, France, South Korea and Thailand were between $2 million and 7 million.

The EU-Vietnam Business Network (EVBN) commented in a report that the growth rate is the result of urbanization, connection with international mass media and increase in demand.

Perfume tops the list of biggest cosmetics items which accounts for 55 percent of total imports, followed by make-up products, which account for 21 percent.

Perfume and make-up products saw the sharpest price increases, by 27 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Ha said her business has been prosperous. Office workers like Thuy are her loyal clients. They don’t regret spending several hundreds of thousands of dong or several millions of dong on one cosmetic product if they like the products.

Surveys show that imported cosmetics in Vietnam have average selling prices of between hundred thousands and several million dong, while high-end products are priced at tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dong.


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