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Korean cosmetics' popularity grows in U.S.

South Korea's cosmetics exports to the United States rose at the fastest pace among all sectors last year as the popularity of Korean makeup products grew among American consumers, a report showed Sunday.

Korean beauty products sold to the U.S. jumped 70 percent last year, outdoing a 20.4 percent surge of car exports to the world's No. 1 economy, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) said in a report, without specifying the amount.

Korean companies have been rapidly expanding their market presence overseas for sources of new growth beyond the saturated domestic market on the back of the "K-beauty boom."

Exports of Korean household items and kitchenware to the U.S. also surged 32.4 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.

Sales of Korean consumption goods in the American market grew 12.3 percent on-year to US$27.1 billion last year, accounting for 3.9 percent of the total, KOTRA said. 

Despite the faster growth than Japan and China, experts call for more efforts to foster the industry as the total amount still lags far behind Asian neighbors.

"The consumer goods market is expected to boost exports to the U.S. amid the global economic slowdown," said Lee Jong-keon, KOTRA's Washington branch director. "We have to develop high value-added products other than cars and smartphones to have new growth drivers in the American market." (Yonhap)