The Asian supplements industry has received a significant boost with the creation of the ASEAN Alliance of Health Supplement Associations (AAHSA), a body that will work toward regulatory harmony in food supplements in 10 Asian countries. ASEAN stands for the Association of South Eastern Nations. It was established in 1967 to provide economic, social and cultural development in the region and represents more than 500 million people.
The AAHSA will act as an umbrella organisation for the supplements industry associations of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam as well as provide input into regulatory development in ASEAN's other four member nations ” Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
"The ASEAN Health Supplements industry is estimated at $1.5 billion and the market has been growing by about 10 per cent each year," said AAHSA chairman Daniel Quek. "It is a significant industry which faces unique challenges, chief of which is to establish itself as a legitimate partner to mainstream health care. AAHSA has been invited to work in consultation with ASEAN regulators to facilitate trade in quality health supplement products for the benefit of consumers. It seeks to play a positive role in the ASEAN harmonisation process by providing relevant scientific, regulatory and industry viewpoints."
The International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) backed the group and applauded the haste with which it had been assembled. "To ensure the creation of the best regulatory model in ASEAN will require strong technical, scientific and regulatory input from the industry," said Simon Pettman, IADSA executive director. "The members of AAHSA have taken on a major commitment, but one which is essential to the future of the industry in the region."
AAHSA aims include:
- facilitating trade in quality products for the benefit of consumers.
- providing regulatory, scientific, technical and market data to the harmonisation process.
- building and strengthening national associations.
- organizing regional events
- building awareness of the ASEAN industry outside the region.