ASEAN delegation heads to Korea for insight on cosmetics growth

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

ASEAN delegation heads to Korea for insight on cosmetics growth

Related tags: Asia, Southeast asia, Philippines

Officials from various of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are taking part in a delegation to South Korea this week, in a bid to learn more about the ongoing booming success of the country’s beauty industry.

The delegation is made up of 18 government members from nine of the ASEAN member countries, including the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, according to KBS World Radio​, and will visit various sites belonging to major players in Korea’s cosmetics scene, including AmorePacific, LG Household and Healthcare, and Coreana.

The central focus of the delegation visit will be a workshop on bilateral technological cooperation, and comes at a time when exports of South Korean beauty brands to ASEAN nations is on the rise.

Indeed, the Korea Customs Service figures state exports of cosmetics amounted to USD 88 million, 63 million and 57 million for Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam respectively in 2015.

Trading together

Collaboration between ASEAN and Korea also taps into the ongoing negotiations between these countries and the EU, which is looking to broker free trade agreements with each of the Asian nations on a country-by-country basis, according to Reuters.

There are already successful agreements in place between the EU and Singapore, Vietnam, and Korea, the news provider states, with talks ongoing with the Philippines and Indonesia.

The EU’s focus on ASEAN and Korea suggests the countries each pose an attractive trade prospect to international players.

Korea’s unstoppable rise?

Beauty from Korea is seeing a dramatic uptake globally, at a pace which shows no sign of abating: According to the Korea Customs Service, between January and November last year, Korea’s cosmetics exports were worth more than USD 2.64 billion, the highest ever, and well above the USD 1.56 billion of imported beauty.

Although this global drive was initially led by consumer enthusiasm in North America, Korean beauty is picking up popularity across Asia too, as the delegation from ASEAN displays.

Australia, China, Japan and Thailand are the countries across the Asia Pacific region leading the demand for Korean beauty, fuelling an ongoing rise in cross-border e-commerce across the region.

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