The first authorized retail outlet for Beijing Olympics merchandise outside the Chinese mainland opened for business on Friday in Macao.
The shop is in the offices of Bank of China (BOC) on Almeida Ribeiro Avenue in the busy city center, not far from the World Heritage-listed Historical City Center of Macao.
According to Xu Chen, BOC's Beijing Olympics Office Director, the main reason why the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Games (BOCOG) chose Macao instead of Hong Kong is that Macao's popularity as a tourist destination for many Chinese communities should help boost sales of Olympics merchandise.
Xu said the types of souvenirs available and stock inventory would mainly depend on initial sales volumes and estimated demands.
Future supply will also be determined by consumer preference and factory output back on the mainland, he added.
Along with many other items bearing their images and the Beijing Olympics emblem, the five cute plush mascots, also known as The Friendlies, are being manufactured under extremely tight supervision by a small number of toy factories considered the best in the trade.
The BOCOG has vowed to ensure quality products, and protection of intellectual property rights even if that means a temporary short supply in the market.
(Xinhua News Agency January 28, 2006)