Seoul Mayor Oh aims to make the city a global beauty center

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon announces Seoul Vision 2030, a project to make Seoul among the top five global cities, at Seoul City Hall on September 15, 2021. [SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT]

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon announces Seoul Vision 2030, a project to make Seoul among the top five global cities, at Seoul City Hall on September 15, 2021. [SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT]

The capital of Korea is proposing itself as a global beauty center to attract more tourists.

Seoul metropolitan government announced on Monday a master plan to cultivate the city as a beauty center and invest 204 billion won ($ 167.9 million) in businesses through 2026.

The campaign is one of the main ambitions expressed by Mayor Oh Se-hoon in his “Seoul Vision 2030” to help Seoul take off as a globally competitive metropolis. In October, Oh told Korea JoongAng Daily that her beauty concept “is not just about beauty products”, but “also includes other products and services.”

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said its strategy is to make Korean beauty a competitive product through the masterplan. The plan includes “traditional” cosmetics, hairdressing and beauty care, as well as fashion, design and beauty technology. It will also take advantage of K-pop, K-drama and tourism, the city government explained.

The master plan is to increase the number of preliminary unicorn companies for beauty fashion from the current eight to 12 and to increase the number of the top 100 beauty and fashion companies in the city from four to six by 2025. It also aims to increase the number of related jobs from 60,000 to 100,000 in the same period.

The city will designate the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) area in downtown Seoul as the key base for Seoul’s beauty and fashion this year and will provide various incentives, such as loosening building regulations, support for loans and the reduction of taxes.

Seongsu, Hongdae, Jongno, Sindorim, Garosu-gil, Jamsil and Coex will be designated beauty business districts and main bases for the latest trends. Industrial bases in biomedical devices, such as Hongneung and G Valley, will be nurtured as foundations for a convergence of beauty and biomedicine research and development.

A basemap of Seoul's beauty industry. [SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT]

A basemap of Seoul’s beauty industry. [SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT]

The city plans to develop a 100 billion won fund dedicated to the beauty industry and invest in small and medium-sized businesses and start-ups. This stems from the fact that 99.2% of beauty businesses in Seoul are small businesses, which is higher than the national average of 95.1%. In addition, it will train 200 and 50 beauty industry professionals and influencers respectively each year.

To promote national beauty companies, the Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to organize a Seoul Beauty Week for the first time in October and subsequently expand it to include other Asian countries. It also plans to provide comprehensive support to businesses looking to enter Southeast Asia, from entry support to major online shopping malls, license registration and logistics services.

“I will develop Seoul’s beauty and fashion industry ecosystem and transform it into a tourism resource to create a virtuous circle with other industries,” the mayor of Seoul said in a press release.

“I will make Seoul a city for people from all over the world who want to experience the hottest beauty and fashion trends.”

OF SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun1@joongang.co.kr]

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