updated 16 Jun 2012, 16:10
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Fri, Jun 15, 2012
The Korea Herald/Asia News Network
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Korean cosmetics sales rise at Seoul duty free shops
by Park Min-young

Beauty products are the most sold Korean-made products in Seoul's duty free shops.

According to research released by Seoul Main Customs Office on Thursday, sales of products made in Korea steadily increased at six duty free shops in Seoul, led by the popularity of cosmetics goods.

The total sales of made-in-Korea products for the first four months of this year hit 166.8 billion won (S$182.59 million), a 64 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. Last year, the overall figure was 396.5 billion won, which was also an increase of more than 40 per cent compared to the previous year.

Sales of non-Korean products from January to April this year marked 706.8 billion won, an increase of about 20 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The order of popular categories remained same as last year; in the case of Korean products, sales of cosmetics, ginseng and food topped the list, taking up about 83 per cent (166.8 billion won) of total sales, followed by jewelry and folk handicraft. In 2011, cosmetics sales hit 252.5 billion won, followed by ginseng (45.9 billion won), food (22.5 billion won), jewelry (13.2 billion won), and folk handicraft (12.2 billion won).

To boost sales of Korean products in duty free shops and support small and medium-sized companies that produce such products, Seoul Main Customs formed a government-civilian committee in June.

The committee, made up of 24 officials from related institutions and companies including the Seoul Main Customs, Korea Duty Free Shop Association, the Small Business Distribution Center, local duty free shops and product producers, held its first meeting on June 4.

Attendants agreed on the need to develop various Korean products that can appeal to foreign tourists, different methods of publicity and to expand sales of products made by qualified SMEs. Duty free shops vowed to sell such Korean products.

"We will hold meetings regularly and collect opinions from the participants," said officials at Seoul Main Customs in a statement.

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