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Seoul mayor promotes K-beauty in Japan

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : June 27, 2023 - 14:59

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Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon (center) applauds in a photo taken at a signing ceremony between Seoul Business Agency and eBay Japan at Omotesando Museum in Tokyo, Monday. (Seoul Metropolitan Government) Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon (center) applauds in a photo taken at a signing ceremony between Seoul Business Agency and eBay Japan at Omotesando Museum in Tokyo, Monday. (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon vowed to support South Korean beauty firms making a foray into Japan, the third-biggest market for cosmetics in the world, during his official visit to the neighbor country, the city government said Tuesday.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Seoul Business Agency, an investment agency under the city government, and eBay Japan signed a memorandum of understanding to foster the online growth of small and medium-sized Korean cosmetics companies in the Japanese beauty market.

With the agreement, the Seoul Business Agency and eBay Japan will operate various online and offline sales events.

According to data from Japan's Ministry of Finance, Korean cosmetics accounted for the largest portion of Japan's cosmetics imports as of last year at some 23.4 percent of the total, amounting to 725.4 billion won ($558 million).

"However, (Korean) SMEs are suffering from a lack of local network to foray into the Japanese market on their own," said an official from the Seoul city government, adding that the city held the recent signing ceremony to address such difficulties.

By the end of the year, the city government said an exclusive section dedicated to cosmetics products from Seoul will be opened on the eBay Japan website.

The website will display and sell beauty products from small and medium-sized enterprises based in Seoul. The Seoul Business Agency and eBay Japan will further provide information regarding marketing tactics specific to Japanese online platforms for SMEs based in Seoul.

The recent agreement aims to facilitate Korean beauty firm's growth in Japan, one of the world's biggest cosmetics markets in the world following the United States and China, the city government said. According to Korea Cosmetic Industry Institute, the Japanese cosmetics market value is estimated to stand at some $32.9 billion for 2023.