South Korea's major beauty trade show kicked off Thursday to present the latest makeup and beauty trends and help local companies pave the way for tapping the global market.
The eighth K-Beauty Expo opened for a three-day run at KINTEX in Goyang, north of Seoul, gathering 450 companies, overseas buyers and experts in various beauty sectors.
KINTEX and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency co-host the event to promote South Korea's beauty industry, which has rapidly expanded its global presence thanks to innovative products and the popularity of the Korean pop culture.
This year's trade show will showcase a wide array of beauty products, including skin care, makeup, nail, hair and body care products, as well as fitness and health care products.
The organizer said a growing number of promising small and medium-sized companies are participating this year in hopes of working toward making inroads overseas.
"This year's K-Beauty Expo gathered the largest number of buyers at home and abroad, which is expected to contribute to the South Korean beauty industry," the KINTEX said. "We will present the hottest trends of the Korean beauty industry in a creative way."
The highlight of the trade show is business-to-business sessions involving about 200 buyers from 34 countries, including China, the United States, Southeast Asian nations and Russia.
KINTEX said it will expand support for B2B consultation sessions to connect local companies with overseas buyers to maximize their chances of clinching contracts during and after the event.
KOTRA, a state-run trade promotion agency, said the visiting buyers have shown keen interest in the exhibitors in advance through an online business matching site, seeking to find new business opportunities in the growing market.
According to KOTRA's recent survey on overseas buyers in 55 nations, cosmetics were the most popular item among South Korea's top 100 export list, taking the spot for the second consecutive year.
The exhibitors will also have chances to meet with officials from 14 major retailers and online shopping malls to figure out how they can sell their products in the mainstream distribution channels. Among them are Hyundai Department Store, Lotte Shopping, Amazon Korea, Interpark and WeMakePrice, the organizer said.
Beauty editors from Singapore's MyFatPocket, Vietnam's Vietnam Plus and Malaysia's The Rakyat Post will select the top 10 innovative products presented during the exhibition and announce the "K-Beauty Expo 2016 Editor's Choice." The selected items will be featured at a special booth.
The event also offers marketing seminars and information sessions useful for beauty industry experts.
The Korea Aesthetic & Medical Beauty Conference runs from Wednesday to Thursday to share information on the anti-aging trend, and other sessions will give tips on how to enter the European cosmetics market and deal with trade regulations for cosmetics in China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asian nations.
This year's exhibition has prepared a variety events for citizens who are interested in the beauty industry and fitness trends.
Makeup and nail artists, as well as celebrity sports trainers, will share their beauty tips during the "Beauty Talk Concert" slated for the weekend.
On the sideline of the events, an audition session will be held on Saturday and Sunday to pick "beauty shopping hosts," who will be introducing exhibitors' cosmetics in front of cameras.
The exhibition has been attracting more attention over the past years on the back of strong demands for Korean beauty products.
According to global market researcher Euromonitor International, Korea's beauty and personal care market is expected to reach $12 billion in terms of retail sales this year.
The International Beauty Industry Trade Association also said Korea's 10 trillion-won ($8.6 billion) cosmetics market will grow further on the back of the growing popularity of its "competitively priced but quality" products in China, Europe, the United States and the Middle East. (Yonhap)