The world still trusts the quality of China's products despite a string of recalls in recent months, a senior Chinese official has said.
"During the first eight months of this year, China's exports grew by 23.3 percent, which shows that our exports have not been hit by these recalls," said Wei Chuanzhong, vice minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).
Speaking at a press conference in the Chinese embassy in Washington DC on Monday, he said: "Some Chinese manufacturers said they had received even more orders and their workers are busy trying to meet them."
Wei stressed that the Chinese government had strengthened measures to ensure product safety.
Some of the toys recalled in the U.S. were because of real quality and safety concerns. But the majority of them were recalled because of design faults or the difference between safety standards in China and the U.S., he said.
U.S.-based toy giant Mattel has recalled about 22 million China-made toys this year. But it apologized formally to China because a vast majority of the recalls were because of design flaws.
In another development, the deputy director of AQSIQ's import and export food safety bureau, Li Chaowei, said China is eager to learn from advanced global experiences in food quality management, including the European Union's rapid alert system for food and feed (RASFF) and the US food recall system.
"Apart from increasing trade globalization we also have to become more familiar with the food management systems of other countries and regions to improve the quality of exports," Li told a three-day workshop on RASFF in Beijing Tuesday.
The RASFF notifies not only member states, but also other countries of problem goods to ensure their removal from shelves and protect consumers, head of the alert system Jose Luis de Felipe said.
It has sent officials to Bangkok, Buenos Aires and Beijing this year to help have such a system in place. "The idea behind these seminars is first of all to share our experience with other countries," De Felipe told a news conference.
"The long-term intention is to create some kind of regional network, like we have in the EU, in order to create a worldwide alert system, which can be set up and probably managed by the World Health Organization with (the help of other) international institutions," he said.
Li said China, too, has a similar food safety alert system but international collaboration is important.
China takes food safety seriously and has begun a nationwide campaign, but "there still is a long way to go".
Several government departments in China are responsible for food safety, and they have their own networks for information exchange and communication, he said.
"We need a more integrated information exchange network on the national level to ensure food safety and a rapid response," he said.
Source: China Daily/Agencies