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Exporters confront rising environmental costs
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Appliance giant Haier introduced a "green strategy" at the fair. It showed off more than 100 new products, such as washing machines that don't require laundry powder. The company won orders worth 850 million U.S. dollars.

Sales manager Yang Hong said that a Spanish customer had decided to buy more than 10 million U.S. dollars worth of environmentally-friendly products in less than 15 minutes. "It was a surprise to us," said Yang.

Other products at the fair, such as furniture, decorations and toys, also emphasized an environmentally-friendly trend. Products using recycled materials were especially popular.

Liu Zhenyi, president of Shandong Luyi Wooden Product Co., Ltd., said their wood and woven-grass products all used recycled materials.

"Our products were made to European standards, although the cost was much higher," he said. "They do not contain any lead or toxic chemical materials. We are confident about our products."

Xu said Chinese companies were following stricter rules in designing, manufacturing, recycling and selling their products. "To promote energy-efficient products is to save resources for the world," he said.

A Mexican buyer said that consumers in his country believed Chinese products were low-end only a couple of years ago "but now nobody would worry about quality."

He said: "China is our major import country. Last year, we imported one to two containers of goods every month, but now we need to import at least two containers."

(Xinhua News Agency May 1, 2008)

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