Toy buyers in Guangdong[File photo\People's Daily]
Guangdong's toy industry witnessed a robust growth in 2017 and the forthcoming 30th Guangzhou International Toy and Hobby Fair is expected to help the toy sector sustain the boom in 2018.
Set from April 8 to 10, the event, reputed as the weathervane of China's toy industry, along with the Guangzhou International Stroller and Baby Product Fair, will cover an exhibition area of approximately 100,000 square meters, or an increase of 23 percent from the session in 2017, with about 4,000 booths for tens of thousands for China-made toys, strollers and baby products as well as for foreign brands.
The event will provide a major platform for domestic toy makers to further tap the growing market both home and abroad and for their foreign counterparts to further penetrate the growing market in China.
"Thanks to the increasing innovations of made-in-China toys and economic recovery in the West, China's toys sold like hot cakes in 2017," said Li Zhuoming, chairman of Guangdong Toy Association, adding that Guangdong's toy makers were among the greatest beneficiaries as the province supplies over 50 percent of the toys sold across the globe.
Citing customs statistics, he said, the province exported toys worth $22.71 billion in 2017, increasing 24.1 percent from 2016 and accounting for 51.49 percent of the nation's total.
"Toy makers' enthusiasm for a place in the expo speaks volumes for the fact that domestic toy makers and those from abroad are pinning growingly high hopes on the annual gala for new business opportunities," he said.
The chairman holds a very upbeat view towards the market prospect in 2018 in China and worldwide, basing his analysis on IMF's estimate of 3.8 percent economic growth of the world as compared to 3.7 percent in 2017, as well as on the intensifying market demand in China due to the second-child policy and the rise of living standard and consumption upgrade.
China imported $1.08 billion worth of toys in 2017, up by 4.35 percent; and the nation made up 9.6 percent of the global toy sales in the year, only second to the United States, which accounted for 33.8 percent, statistics indicate.
Wu Shaojun, a senior executive of Guangdong Dr. Luck Education Equipment Science and Technology Co Ltd, said stronger affordability and greater importance Chinese consumers are attaching to their children have helped intensify market demand for high-end toys, especially the goods for kid's brain development.
She said that her company itself has benefited much from the trend and her toys, primarily building blocks, integrating the ideas of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics), have entered about 10,000 schools nationwide.