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Customers purchase soccer products related to the FIFA 2022 World Cup at the Yiwu International Trade Market in Zhejiang province on Oct 31. GONG XIANMING/FOR CHINA DAILY
From national flags to ornaments and pillows emblazoned with images of the World Cup trophy, products made in Yiwu, China's small commodity hub, have enjoyed nearly 70 percent of the market share of World Cup merchandise, according to the Yiwu Sports Goods Association.
Wang Jiandong, who has been engaged in tournament merchandise in Yiwu for more than 10 years, said his company started to receive World Cup orders last year, and has been getting additional orders up to now.
In order to deliver World Cup-related products as quickly as possible, all goods are transported by air in near term, Wang told Chinese financial media outlet Yicai.
Wang owns Shaoxing Bolisi Clothing Co Ltd and set up his front-end store in Yiwu, widely known as the world's supermarket, while the back-end factory is in Shaoxing, East China's Zhejiang province.
As overseas markets reopened, and offline tournaments and large events resumed gradually, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Yiwu are seeing a considerable growth in sales.
Chen Xianchun, who in charge of Yiwu Jinzun Stationery Co Ltd, predicted that, this year, his company's performance will see at least a 50 percent increase compared with last year, recovering to the level before the COVID-19 outbreak.
He Jinqi, a Yiwu merchant who specializes in producing and selling national flags, said since May, when the full list of all 32 teams qualified for the World Cup 2022 was announced, customers started to enquire and place orders. He predicted that, this year, the number of orders is expected to increase 10-20 percent from last year.
Wang also estimated the increment from the World Cup to be 10-20 million yuan ($1.4-2.8 million), accounting for about 20 percent of total sales.
Unlike in the past, this year, besides traditional products such as toys and clothing, sales of projectors and star player cards also saw big increases.
According to Yiwu Customs, during the first eight months of this year, Yiwu exported 3.82 billion yuan of sporting goods and 9.66 billion yuan of toys.
By region, exports to Brazil were 7.58 billion yuan, up 56.7 percent compared to the same period last year, while exports to Argentina and Spain reached 1.39 billion yuan and 4.29 billion yuan, up 67.2 percent and 95.8 percent, respectively.