By Rachel Lee
Korea, a growing beauty industry trendsetter, has shared its success stories with Malaysia.
At the Investment and Market Research Mission, launched in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, experts from leading Korean cosmetic companies and organizations are speaking about the industry, branding strategy, packaging development procedures and marketing strategies. About 80 representatives from Malaysian cosmetic companies are attending.
The ASEAN-Korea Centre and the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) organized the five-day event to strengthen the capacity of small and medium cosmetics companies so they gain further access to the Korean market.
"Based upon demands and needs of Malaysian counterparts, the centre is organizing its programs for the most important sectors, cosmetics and smart manufacturing," ASEAN-Korea Centre Secretary General Kim Young-sun said.
The program also invited seven Korean companies specialising in industrial robots and automation, including the Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement, to expose potential Korean investors to information and opportunities in Malaysia's smart manufacturing sector, the organization said.
"Recognizing the importance of nurturing high technology for long-term development of the country, the Malaysian government recently introduced new incentives for companies adopting robotics and automation in their production lines," Kim said.
"Furthermore, while the country is a fast-growing market for Korean cosmetic brands, Malaysian brands are also expanding their presence in the global market. Through the Product Development Workshop, K-Beauty experts will share their expertise and know-how to enhance the capacity of SMEs in the sector."
The organization last year hosted the ASEAN-Korea Technology Cooperation Workshop in Seoul where 18 representatives from nine ASEAN countries learned about the Korean cosmetics industry ― branding strategy and packaging technology, in particular. The ASEAN-Korea Centre and the Korea Cosmetic Association organized the event.
Three Korean beauty experts ― Incheon University Professor Hwang Seon-a, WK Marketing Group Director Han Tae-soo and Yonwoo Executive Vice President Kim Hak-chan ― spoke on "K-Beauty: Korean Cosmetics Industry," "Cosmetics Branding Strategy" and "Packaging Development Group."
According to the Korea Customs Service, exports surpassed imports in the cosmetics sector in 2014, as Korean beauty products gained popularity around the world.
In 2015, total exports were $2.4 billion, a 53.1 percent increase from the previous year. In Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam, exports reached $88 million, $63 million and $57 million, respectively.
This year marks the "ASEAN-ROK Cultural Exchange Year." According to the organization, plans to mark the occasion include the designation of May as the "Month of ASEAN," and a series of commemorative events such as the "International Conference on the ASEAN-Korea Partnership."
In June, the "ASEAN Culinary Festival" will be held, while the Korea World Travel Fair will feature the ASEAN tourism promotional pavilion. The center also said it will work to raise awareness of the travel campaign during the year.
The ASEAN-Korea Centre is an intergovernmental organization established in 2009 to promote exchanges among Korea and the 10 ASEAN member states.