By ROY C. MABASA
Having established itself as one of the world’s leading players in the cosmetics industry since joining the European Union (EU) in 2004, Poland now plans to expand the export of its world-class beauty products. to the Philippines.
Bartek Wasiewski, head of Poland’s Foreign Trade Office in Manila, said their cosmetics may not have as high a value as other trades, but “it helps make Poland a brand” in the whole world.
Unknown to many, Inglot, maker and retailer of popular color cosmetics for the face, eyes, lips and nails, is certified made-in-Poland beauty products with no less than American singer and actress Jeniffer Lopez as one of its main approving partners.
“I really want to see more Polish brands here in the Philippines because then it’s easier to talk to average Filipinos and explain to them what Poland is all about. At least I have something to show them,” Wasiewski told a delegation of Filipino journalists who recently visited the office of the Polish Agency for Investment and Trade in Warsaw.
The Polish Trade Agency is a government office responsible for promoting investment inflows and outflows in addition to pushing for the expansion of exports of Polish-made products such as cosmetics and furniture.
Based on initial market research done by their office, Wasiewski noted that their cosmetics exports to the Philippines were only around $350,000 a year before the pandemic.
The Polish trade office said their current cosmetics export figures to the Philippines are “almost nothing” just looking at the volume. of their production capacity.
Poland’s total cosmetics exports worldwide are estimated at around US$2.5 billion, growing continuously at around 2% per year in the past 15 years before the pandemic.
Polish industry figures showed that 50% of their total cosmetics production is exported to Europe and sold in 160 countries around the world.
Moreover, Poland is the sixth largest cosmetics market in Europe with around 100 large and medium-sized cosmetics manufacturers and more than 300 small and very small producers of beauty products.
According to Wasiewski, Polish cosmetics are extremely strong in neighboring Asian countries like Singapore and South Korea.
“I know that Polish cosmetics are of good quality. I used to live in Korea, and Koreans buy a lot when they travel to Poland, bringing them back as gift bags. If Koreans buy Polish cosmetics, I think it’s a good recommendation (for Filipinos),” he said.
Besides Inglot, which is one of the leading Polish brands in the global cosmetics market, other brands that have made a name for themselves in international beauty care lines are Naturativ, Chantal and Ziaja, among others.
Wasiewski said he is currently in contact with people in the Philippine cosmetics industry to determine which products would best suit the Philippine market.
Although he wants to promote their skincare products to Filipinos, Wasiewski however noted that most of the cosmetics exported to the Philippines focus on skin whitening.
“We don’t have it. It may already be time to welcome and appreciate morena’s skin as it is,” he said.