SEOUL -- South Korea unveiled a new national strategy to cultivate its cosmetics industry through customized government support so that it can become a global brand, buoyed by brisk sales in 2020 that owed much to the growing popularity of Korean pop music and dramas among global fans.
Despite a global lockdown caused by a COVID-19 pandemic, exports of South Korean cosmetics products, dubbed K-beauty, hit a record high of $7.5 billion in 2020. No far from contentment, the government vowed to nurture K-beauty as a new growth engine through active investments in research and development and the establishment of industrial infrastructure.
"If government support is added to private capabilities, the K-beauty industry will be able to establish itself as a new growth engine," Health and Welfare Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said on January 27. "We will actively support the continuous growth of the K-beauty industry."
For technology innovation, the government would help establish a platform that can collect and utilize skin characteristics and genomic information by country and race to expand global sales while supporting the localization of basic materials and the development of eco-friendly raw materials using domestic biological resources.
For the creation of an industrial ecosystem, Kwon's office said the government would provide comprehensive consulting, train professional human resources and ease regulations for overseas expansion. Starting in September 2022, K-beauty zones for small and medium-sized companies will be run in areas frequented by tourists.
According to the Foundation of Korea Cosmetics Industry, China's K-beauty market stood at $3 billion in 2019. K-beauty color makeup including eye shadows and lipsticks is extending its reach to other overseas markets.