The global supplement sector is celebrating the major steps that have been taken to create an ASEAN single market in health supplements.
The health supplement sector was identified as a priority area for harmonization under the priority integration sector of health care by the ASEAN political leaders in 2004. And today, nearly 90 percent of the initial targets for agreement have been achieved. These include the requirements for labelling and communication, manufacturing standards, and the type and levels of ingredients that can be used in health supplements across Southeast Asia.
“This is a significant step forward for ASEAN and now creates one of the world’s largest integrated markets estimated at 6bn USD in 2014 and growing rapidly,” said Daniel Quek, chairman of AAHSA and president of the Health Supplements Industry Association of Singapore (HSIAS).
The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is being established with the target of building a single market and production base. “We expect the creation of the single market in health supplements to stimulate further increases of investment and employment in ASEAN countries through the activities of health supplement companies,” said Ric Hobby, chairman of IADSA, “In addition, we expect that through the agreement of common standards consumers across ASEAN can increasingly gain the health benefits that supplements can provide.”
An event in Singapore last week brought together senior government officials from across ASEAN and the world, and senior executives from the regional and global supplement sector. “This week, we have been celebrating this significant step towards ASEAN becoming a global powerhouse in this area. We would like to thank all those in government in Singapore and across ASEAN who have made this achievement possible,” added Quek.