SEOUL, June 13 (Korea Bizwire) – Korea’s Institute for International Trade (IIT) revealed Sunday in its report, ‘Opening New Trade Paths with High-end Consumer Goods’, that despite Korea’s suffering export industries, exports of high-end consumer goods have increased sharply in recent years.
High-end consumer goods include rare, high-quality, and high-priced goods such as beauty products, designer clothing, jewelry, dishware, and liquor.
Total exports of high-end consumer goods were $6.1 billion in 2015, a 13.1 percent increase from 2014. The average annual increase from 2011 to 2015 was 12.1 percent. In contrast, the average annual increase for consumer goods in general during the same period was only 2.9 percent.
Exports of high-end consumer goods also took up 7.4 percent of all consumer goods exported in 2015, an increase from 4.6 percent in 2011.
Exports of beauty products, which are also (since 2014) the most exported products, increased by an annual average of 29.2 percent from 2011 to 2015. Exports of designer clothing (6.8 percent), and bags and shoes (17.4 percent) also increased during the same period.
However, these figures are not as impressive when compared to other major countries.
For instance, Korea’s exports of high-end products only represented 1.2 percent of total exports in 2015, which is much lower than in Italy (13.6 percent), France (10.4 percent), and Hong Kong (9.5 percent).
“Korea still lacks premium products and brands that are well-recognized at an international level,” said researcher Shim Hye-jeong from the IIT. “In China, the largest market for high-end products, Korean goods are only consumed one-fifth the amount of Italian and one-third the amount of French products.”
“Korea has more than enough infrastructure to grow the market for high-end consumer goods. It needs to diversify its distribution channels according to changing consumer patterns,” she added.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)