Home-grown brand chances damaged by cosmetic import levels in Turkey

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cosmetics products International trade

Home-grown brand chances damaged by cosmetic import levels in Turkey
People in Turkey spend around $4bn (€3.1bn) every year on imported cosmetics, which account for 80 per cent of the products sold on the market according to one of the country’s Health Ministry officials.

Speaking at the four-day Cosmoprof 2012 event in Bologna (March 9-12), Ercan Şimşek of the Turkish Health Ministry revealed these figures before stating that Turkey must act on this fast if it is to see one of its own cosmetic brands go global.

“There are about 170,000 cosmetics products in the local market, of which only 45,000 are produced by domestic firms. That means 80 per cent of the cosmetics products sold in Turkey are imported,”​ said Şimşek.


According to the Ministry official, there are 1,435 domestic firms in the cosmetics industry and 1,020 importing firms.

“If measures are not taken within the next 10 years, it will be impossible to see a global Turkish cosmetics brand, as they would not be able to gain strength in terms of infrastructure,”​ he said.

Most of the major players in the cosmetic and personal care field already have manufacturing and marketing facilities in Turkey.

Companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Henkel, and Colgate Palmolive are all present in the region and most of the foreign investors in the cosmetics sector are manufacturing through joint ventures and licensing agreements.


According to Selçuk Aksoy, vice chairman of the Istanbul Chemicals and Chemical Products Exporters Association, Turkey’s exports in cosmetics rose 50 per cent last year on an annual basis, and it has hit a volume of nearly $1bn. Total chemicals exports hit $12bn last year.

Noting that growth in Turkey’s cosmetic exports made a positive difference in the domestic market, Aksoy said: “Turkey has been an importer in the cosmetics sector for many years.”

“However, as the Turkish exporting firms develop and raise the quality of their products, this results in them not only opening up to world markets, but also increasing their shares in the domestic market, which in turn contributes to the lowering of imports.”

Overall, "66 Turkish export companies in the cosmetics business attended Cosmoprof this year​," said Şimşek, including the Deputy General Manager of the General Directorate of Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, who attended the fair in support of the Turkish firms.

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