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UAE an important hub for EU cosmetics market
September 27, 2014
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The UAE has become an important regional market for cosmetic products, especially from the European Union countries. Poland-headquartered Swit Pharma’s Export Director Steve Dawes during the week spoke to William Faria from The Gulf Today, while in Poland, explaining that the UAE is not only a regional hub for such an industry but a trendsetter because of the Gulf women’s penchant for beauty, therefore Dubai remains a launch pad for global brands and products. The Warsaw-based company has a sales office in Sharjah that caters to the demand for cosmetics in the Middle East and Africa region. The company looks forward to expand its  footprint from Sharjah into other emerging markets.

Here is the full interview:

Q. Can you in a nutshell mention about Swit Pharma?
A. Our company was established in 1944 and from the beginning has been manufacturing cosmetics.  Over the years, we have specialised in cosmetic production (Face, Body, Foot, Hand &Nail, Spa, Shampoo, Scrubs, Hair removal and other innovative products). Also within the Swit Group of companies we produce household chemicals, cosmetic tubes & caps and packaging.

We use modern machinery, and have our own laboratory research and development department that implements and observes Quality Management Systems that allow us to keep products at a high level, corresponding to the European standards of quality. The quality of our products has also been confirmed with many consumer awards.

Q. Can you explain about your company’s presence in the UAE?

A. To begin with, the UAE market is a very important destination to our company. As you are aware, we already have our own sales office in the emirate of Sharjah.
We offer our clients a wide range of cosmetics for the face and body. We create beauty products tailored to the needs and expectations of our consumers acquainted with the charms of ideal care.

Q. How important is the African market to your company?
A. Africa is an emerging market to any investor. However, we have noticed that most of the African traders prefer to conduct business through our sales offices in Sharjah.
We consider the African market to be very demanding but at the same time one that creates opportunities for long-standing business relationships which can lead to a substantial rise in our exports and turnover — and hence to effectively and efficiently reach our African customers, we are intent on investing in developing our sales on this directly through Poland, so that they can purchase the produce in bulk and also at a wholesale price, but of course our Sharjah offices will still continue to be the central hub to the Middle East and Africa destinations.

Q. What makes your company different from the rest?
A. During our long history, we have acquired the experience, skills and knowledge to produce and successfully distribute our products in both Polish and export markets.
We have excellent and stable quality and consistent desire to maintain the most attractive prices in the market that maintains us in the number one position. 
Our products are appreciated not only in the country but also in many foreign markets. 
Today we belong to the largest and fastest growing companies in production and service in the Europe. 
Moreover, we are fully ISO 9001 ertified also with ISO 22716 (GMP) Quality Management Systems enabling us to produce a high level of products, all of which comply with the European quality norms.
Q. How active has Swit Pharma been at the Beautyworld Middle East?
A. Being one of the leading worldwide trade shows for beauty products, hair, fragrances and health in the Middle East and one of the top five exhibitions globally, Swit Pharma has actively participated during this annual event.
As it is termed as the leading international exhibition, Beautyworld exhibition offers visitors a chance to meet over 1,000 global companies personally for three days and the Polish cosmetics industry has over the years participated in this event annually for serious business.
Every year, during the Beautyworld Middle East fair that takes place around May we normally participate under the umbrella of the Polish National Pavilion promoted by the Polish Ministry of Economy, as the country’s brands prepare to showcase their tailored offerings to the Middle East and Africa market.
For us, like any other Polish companies, Beautyworld expo being the largest professional event is important and attractive for the beauty industry and spa sector in itself since it is one of the Middle East’s fastest growing and most cash-rich markets world.

Q. How do you see the cosmetic industry demands in the Middle East region?
A. You should understand that as a rapidly developing market, brands have to focus on the specific market demands in order to be successful, and this has seen Polish producers prepare specially designed products.
Secondly, having our packaging in the Arabic language is also important, so we can thus strengthen our brand identification and reach many different new regions.
However, the greatest challenge for such an industry and while entering the markets in the Middle East and North Africa is the distribution point, it’s most important to have the right distributor who has the knowledge of the cosmetic industry as well as knows the geographical locations of the region.
Q. How can you define the Polish cosmetics industry?
A. Over the years and almost a century now, Polish cosmetics have been a vibrant industry in the entire Europe.
However we are termed as the 6th most often exported European cosmetics worldwide, and the industry.
Our company is looking to reinforce its presence in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and other emerging markets too.

Q. Why do you think the Middle East cosmetic market is important for Poland?
A. First, it is understandable that the GCC consumer is a heavy spender when it comes to cosmetic products, with per capita spending being one of the highest in the world, and secondly, no matter what the economic situation is in the Middle East, you have the whole spectrum of customers wearing cosmetics, which is entrenched in their respective cultures and putting on cosmetic has become a daily routine, not only in the Middle East but globally.
Despite the Arab Spring crisis in the region, sales of cosmetics still remain robust. Moreover, there has been a growing demand for international products, which has caused regional distributors to adapt to market demand, and that is where the Poland cosmetics industry comes in.

Q. In your opinion, do you think that the Middle East market is robust than in Europe?
A. Well, over the years the Middle East consumers have shifted towards well known international brands, and so we have to keep up with these changes and everyday challenges.
Though our products are developed in Poland under the European Union requirements, we do cater to the Middle Eastern customer in mind, particularly with regard to their respective taste.

Q. How important is it to Polish manufacturers of cosmetic to attend trade exhibitions in the Middle East region?
A. As mentioned earlier, Polish cosmetics brands are looking to strengthen their position in the Middle East and North Africa markets as part of the European Union.
The Middle East has therefore been identified as a key market offering great potential, and the Polish cosmetics industry has always looked to use the Beautyworld Middle East fair in Dubai as a stepping stone into this region.
The Polish National Pavilion has always participated in this annual platform, that is  seen to be a gateway to all the markets in the region.
As the show is known to attract customers and tradesmen from all the Gulf countries, as well as those from further regions in Asia and North Africa.

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