Welcome ladies and gentlemen, and distinguished guests.
I would like to sincerely congratulate the opening of the third Newsis K-Expo.
I would like to thank the president of Newsis and all parties concerned for creating a center of valuable discussion and festivities that contribute to the branding of Seoul’s K-beauty industry at home and abroad in addition to building a foothold for the industrial growth of Korean culture and the future.
It is my great pleasure to be able to welcome all fans of the Korean Wave around the world and those interested in Seoul’s beauty industry here today at the Beauty Industry Branding Conference.
Korean culture from K-pop to K-dramas and K-movies have become popular not only in Asia, but all throughout the world from the Americas to Europe, and export of such content account for a substantial amount of Korea’s international exports.
In line with the global expansion of the Korean Wave, the Korean beauty industry encompassing cosmetic products, cosmetic surgery, fashion and apparel is taking root as new content of the Korean Wave.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government recognized the Korean beauty industry as a future industrial engine of Seoul and as a key force that will initiate urban competitiveness. Seoul is in preparation of taking a leap as a central city of global beauty through various policies for development and cultivation.
I am sure you remember that ten years ago, Seoul ranked in the top ten of urban competitiveness. Seoul had expectations, dreams and hopes of rising as one of the top five cities in the world, alongside New York, London and Paris, with just a little more effort.
However, it proved to be a futile downfall in the past ten years. Seoul’s ranking on the Global Cities Index, which stood at tenth in 2010, fell to seventeenth last year, and suddenly plummeted from eleventh in 2011 to twenty-fifth on the Global Financial Centres Index last year.
The number one goal of Seoul today is to revitalize the city to recover its damaged urban competitiveness and once again take the leap with the aim of becoming one of the top five global cities.
In order to fulfill this goal, we established the future roadmap of Seoul with Seoul Vision 2030. One of the main keywords of Seoul Vision 2030 is Seoul as a “future emotional city.”
The goal of becoming a “future emotional city” is to recover Seoul’s exclusive charms that will attract people and enterprises, capital, technology, and information to create the global emotional city of Seoul that everyone will want to not only live in, but also invest in and visit.
Seoul has found that the key to acquiring such charms is the domestic beauty industry that is taking root as new content of the Korean Wave.
The beauty industry coincides with the new consumer trend that aims for the emotional and well-being, and hence it is both a future industry where sustainable growth can be anticipated and a future employment industry that will create high value-added jobs.
The scale of the current global cosmetics market was USD 499.6 billion, or KRW 569 trillion, as of 2019, with an expected annual growth of 5.3%.
The scale of Korea’s cosmetics export was USD 7.6 billion, or KRW 8.2877 trillion, as of 2020 with a 16% increase compared to 2019, and Korea rose as a cosmetics powerhouse behind France and the US.
Moreover, Seoul is home to four Korean enterprise headquarters that rank in the top one hundred cosmetics enterprises in the world along with 45.7% of domestic cosmetics distributors, qualifying the city as an excellent environment for the potential growth into a global beauty city.
The potential power of the beauty industry does not simply stop with the cosmetics industry in the sense that it is an industry with the expandability for limitless development alongside fashion, tourism and MICE.
According to research conducted by the Korea Tourism Organization, content related to music, fashion and beauty tourism are achieving high satisfaction from tourists.
If tourism packages that feature Seoul’s original beauty and aesthetics are developed to add to the charms of the city that are already familiar to the world, and introduced through K-pop, K-dramas and other forms of the Korean Wave, the number of domestic and international tourists who visit Seoul to experience and consume various beauty-related activities pertaining to cosmetics, beauty, fashion, food and wellness will steadily increase.
Therefore, Seoul has deduced detailed tasks through consultations with expert organizations to systematically advance beauty tourism.
First, various tourism packages related to beauty will be developed in addition to creating collaborative programs with beauty creators and beauty flagship stores to heighten Seoul’s recognition as a beauty tourism city.
Dongdaemun Special Fashion Zone that was once widely known as Korea’s oldest fashion avenue will be reborn as the exclusive and revitalized Dongdaemun Special Beauty Zone with various things to see and enjoy.
Dongdaemun Fashion Town Special Zone near Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a design landmark and pride of Seoul built ten years ago under the city’s vision of being a “world design capital,” became a representative tourist spot in Seoul as the second most visited place by international tourists after the N Seoul Tower.
The Dongdaemun area is currently experiencing great difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but if beauty and the Korean Wave are added to the region’s fashion and design, such content will once again attract tourists from across the country and around the world to Dongdaemun.
Seoul is currently in the process of establishing a concrete action plan for the construction and cultivation of relevant infrastructure in order that the beauty industry will become a strong growth engine for the city.
As a key global beauty city, we will brand the emotions and beauty of Seoul that enhance Seoul’s potential power for future growth and encompass Seoul’s culture, tastes, scents and landscapes.
Accordingly, we will create a new brand of Seoul that lives up to the phrase “Visit Seoul to see the newest global beauty trends.”
I hope that substantial and rich discussions are held during today’s conference regarding successful strategies and branding methods of Seoul’s beauty industry.
I would also like to thank all experts from home and abroad who took the time in the midst of their busy schedules to attend the conference.