While South Korea has reported a prolonged drop in exports, policy makers are honing in on one industry that is busy making waves – cosmetics. With overseas sales of South Korean cosmetics posting a 73 per cent boom in July this year, the market is a clear growth engine.
All industries posted a 4.9 per cent decline in South Korea, cosmetics is said to be out performing South Korea’s other ‘flagship’ items such as cars, chemicals and steel, with most reporting a drop in sales.
The boost in this market has been put down to the increased popularity of Korean pop stars and their endorsement of beauty products.
And while cosmetic exports is still a relatively small market – valued at $1.4billion and 0.4 per cent of total outbound shipments – it is said to be one of the promising industries. According to a report by the Export-Import Bank of Korea it is likely to post over $10 billion in the next five to ten years.
Son Hyo Ju, a retail analyst at HI Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul, said, “Despite the Korean beauty sector’s high growth in recent years, there is room for more as its market share in China is still small and Chinese local competitors are yet to catch up.
“The macro economic situation in China might not be good, but the cosmetics industry will continue to grow there.”
Most exports head to neighbouring China and Taiwan, but the global market is said to increase as the men and the elderly become more cosmetic-savvy.
Indeed, such is the interest in the Korean beauty market that it is being featured today in Makeup In New York Conference held from Wednesday 9th to Thursday 10th September, 2015 at Penn Plaza Pavilion. A round table discussion will be held entitled Why is South Korea such a special market in Asia and what is the influence of this country in the global makeup industry (formulas & packaging), followed by a seminar on beauty in Korea, which looks at the realities of Korean make up, influences and trends.