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September 18, 2020

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Fengxian aims for big success in beauty industry

FENGXIAN District in southeast Shanghai was once an area known for agricultural processing and distribution. Now it’s hoping to become an industry cluster for beauty and health amid consumers’ growing aspiration for healthier and better-quality life.

It has attracted some 100 manufacturers specializing in cosmetics, biomedicine and food with over 3,000 brands and the industrial output of The Oriental Beauty Valley is estimated to reach 100 billion yuan (US$14.5 billion) by 2025.

Since the idea of becoming a beauty and health industry center was first put forward in 2015 in Fengxian, it’s stepped forward in upgrading the industry chain and also attracted a number of high- quality companies.

The Shanghai government has designated The Oriental Beauty Valley as the first core pilot area for anchoring the beauty and health industry in the city.

It aims to become the largest such cluster with the largest-scale and independent intellectual property rights in China and also a source of technology change and theoretical breakthrough for beauty industries around the world.

“We want potential investors to access key information and administrative procedures about Fengxian just like online shopping,” said Director of the Fengxian District Investment Promotion Office Gu Weixing.

Gu said the office has been promoting online channels to make materials available to potential investors with virtual reality-aided functions to showcase information for key industrial planning projects.

“We’re also very early in adopting online investment promotion after the coronavirus outbreak and really moved our promotional activities online.”

By the end of June, Fengxian had hosted 76 online promotional sessions and they attracted a total of 25.6 million viewership, and 394 online matchmaking sessions had been held.

It has also taken to new media platforms like WeChat, Douyin, Toutiao and video sites like Tencent and Youku and plans to seek potential investment opportunities from companies who are planning to take part in the third China International Import Expo in November and the International Cosmetics Conference so they can more precisely and effectively target potential customers.

An online management system for administrative approval is also available to track the schedule for each individual project. In this way, Gu said, government administrative bodies can also improve their efficiency.

Testing facilities for the efficacy of functional skincare and beauty products are also crucial and a number of medicine-testing and assessment institutions have located business there.

The Fengxian Testing Center of the National Cosmetics Quality Supervision and Inspection Center is also part of integrated services for incumbent companies in Fengxian.

Altogether eight centers in Fengxian covering design, marketing, experience, export, R&D, exhibition, service and evaluation and testing are set up to provide a comprehensive service for companies from home and abroad.

The International Cosmetics Conference in the The Oriental Beauty Valley has attracted leading industry players, market watchers and other stakeholders to share ideas for a joint effort in boosting the district’s leading position in the beauty sector.

General Manager of The Oriental Beauty Valley Group Yuan Fei said he expects to build the valley into a world-leading center for the beauty industry.

Through collaboration with the Cosmetic Valley in France, it hopes to connect with some 800 local companies including both major groups and smaller businesses.

A supplement agreement with France is also to be reached later this year to allow small and medium French brands to collaborate with local players.

“There are plenty of resources and industry players such as original equipment manufacturers, packaging design and manufacturers so each complements the other’s advantage and core business capabilities,” Yuan added.

“Biopharmaceutical is also our key focus and it’s essential to build an environment for startups and biopharma companies to stay close to the capital market and business demands,” he noted.

“Bringing these firms under one roof helps reduce their operation cost and startups can also grow at a faster pace,” Yuan added.

Based on the size and demands of companies, The Oriental Beauty Valley said it will offer flexible workshop and warehouse spaces and lab facilities so each can find a suitable site.

Cosmetics R&D and production company Cosmax first set up its production base in Fengxian in 2004 and business there has been growing at 40 percent each year. Now its China business makes up about 37 percent of its global income.

Shen Yingjie, assistant general manager of Cosmax China, said Fengxian offers geographical advantages and business opportunities for the company.

“Cosmax’s operation in Fengxian District, especially in The Oriental Beauty Valley, has allowed us to benefit from the complete cosmetics supply chain and brought us top clients as well,” he said.

“We will continue to upgrade our automation production facilities in the Fengxian factory and it will continue to be our growth engine and a talent center for global operations.”

The Oriental Beauty Valley has attracted not only beauty but also nutritional supplements, healthcare providers and this benefits integrated development.

The Oriental Beauty Valley platform allows beauty industry participants to form an industrial ecosystem to complement each other and provides companies with a creative platform, laying a good foundation for the healthy development of the beauty industry.

Cosmax recently added import and export business in Shanghai in order to fully leverage its global network to connect with local retail resources, and at the same time being located in Fengxian also allows it to better help domestic clients to expand overseas markets.

Frank Ji, Chinese affairs representative and human resources director of Interfila Cosmetics (Shanghai) Co Ltd, said the company’s expansion benefited from Fengxian’s comprehensive functions and services.

Interfila Cosmetics with a registration capital of US$2.7 million and site space of 13,745 square meters, has expanded from research and production of eyebrow pencils and eyeliners to include a full range of makeup products with annual output of 300 million yuan.

It now has two production bases in Fengxian and this year it became one of the first companies to join Junda Beauty Park to lease 10,000 square meters of factory space to expand research efforts for new product launches.

“We also have plans to set up research facilities and a graduate program for cosmetics professionals in collaboration with the Shanghai Institute of Technology,” he added.

“The Oriental Beauty Valley can provide enterprises with a development platform with a good brand attracting follow-up players and it strives to promote resource integration to create convenient service and development environment for incumbent companies,” he added.

“For beauty companies, The Oriental Beauty Valley is like the Ivy League of higher education,” he noted.

A full-fledged ecosystem also includes local players who play their part in complementing the health, beauty and pharma industry chain.

Shanghai BioGerm Medical Technology Co is also adding more research and development space in the Fengxian Industrial Development Park and has been offering solid support for affairs such as setting up research facilities, getting infrastructure and environmental assessment approvals.

General Manager Zhao Baihui said the park’s management committee holds regular roundtable talks and get-togethers between incumbant companies in Fengchuang Valley to help them connect with different players in the industry chain.

Not long after setting up in the Pudong New Area, the company quickly moved to Fengxian because local government authorities truly understand its demands and are practical in offering relevant information to apply for technological subsidies for innovation, Zhao said.

It has been carrying out research and development for molecular diagnostic reagents for infectious pathogens and after the coronavirus outbreak, its nucleic acid detection kit gained approval from the National Medical Products Administration and was expropriated by the Shanghai government for epidemic prevention and control.

Many suppliers, distributors and peer companies are also located in the vicinity to allow better collaboration and business synergy.

“We’re also planning to expand our overseas distribution network to sell to foreign countries,” Zhao said.

Shanghai Kaibao Pharmaceutical Co General Manager Wang Guoming said the city is rich in R&D talent and collaboration resources.

“Fengxian officials have also offered swift and convenient service to help us receive approval for drug production licenses,” he said.

In the future, Wang said he hopes more healthcare companies would be included in The Oriental Beauty Valley to make a better cluster for the industry.




 

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