China toy scandals hit Nuremberg Toy Fair registrations
Scandals over toxic toys from China, the world's main toy-making nation, have hit the number of Chinese exhibitors at next month's Nuremberg Toy Fair, the chief organizer said.
2 January 2008
Nuremberg, Germany (dpa) - Scandals over toxic toys from China, the world's main toy-making nation, have hit the number of Chinese exhibitors at next month's Nuremberg Toy Fair, the chief organizer said Wednesday.
This was because the Chinese government had revoked several companies' export licenses.
"We have had a slight fall in Chinese registrations," said chief executive Ernst Kick in an interview with DPA. Space at the annual fair, to be held February 7-12, is fully booked, he said.
"We have a waiting list with quite a few exhibitors on it," he said.
The fair, which is the world's key new-product event for toy traders, is to have educational toys as a focus, with a special exhibition of examples and a conference on how to use them.
Kick said consumer attitudes had changed, with parents asking more often where toys were manufactured and how they benefited a child.
China has the lion's share of world toy manufacturing. Beijing has been embarrassed by disclosures that some makers used sub-standard plastics and paints which could endanger child health.
At the fair, two thirds of exhibitors are non-German.
"The outstanding growth market for toys today is Russia, with annual sales increases of 30 per cent," said Kick. Western industrialized countries were largely saturated with little growth.
Kick defended the fair from complaints about stand rentals, which are to rise from 117 to 123 euros per square metre this year.
He said the rates were below the average of 155 euros for international trade fairs in Germany and well below those abroad.
The Toy Fair is expecting 80,000 trade visitors. Ordinary shoppers - and children - are not allowed into the fair, and Kick rejected calls from the German media for the public to be admitted on at least one day.
"The vast majority of exhibitors want it to stay the way it is," the Toy Fair chief said.