TIA Meetings in Shanghai Explore New Market Opportunities for TIA Members

October 19, 2012 | Toy Industry Association (TIA) staff met with several organizations in Shanghai, China during the annual Toy and Juvenile Products Fair (October 11-13), as part of the Association’s efforts to help its members export their products into developing markets, as outlined in TIA’s recently announced 2013-2015 Strategic Plan.

TIA President Carter Keithley and EVP of External Affairs Ed Desmond met with representatives from the Commercial Service of the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai; the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham – Shanghai); and ALTIOS International, an import/export consulting service with offices in Shanghai, New York, France and Australia, in order to begin research on resources that could help TIA fulfill its new strategic goal.

In these meetings, TIA came away with different ways that the abovementioned organizations can help its members looking to export their products to China:

  • The Commercial Service of the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai offers a “Gold Key” service to American companies at very affordable rates to assist them in exporting their products to China.  Commercial Service staff evaluates the interest and potential of the market for the company’s products through questionnaires and phone calls with prospective retail customers.  If a clear interest has been identified, the Service will arrange meetings and provide translation and transportation services.  The exporting company must verify that at least 51% of the value of the product is created in the U.S., and must demonstrate a serious commitment to entering the Chinese market. 


  • The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham – Shanghai) offers counsel, support and facilities to companies interested in selling their products in China.  AmCham – Shanghai is one of several such organizations in China (others include AmCham – Beijing and AmCham – Guanzhou), each of which operates independently but cooperatively to help American companies in the market.  AmCham – Shanghai’s work extends well into the northeastern provinces and focuses on commercial activities, whereas the Beijing based organizations focuses largely on government policies.  TIA has taken a membership in AmCham – Shanghai, which has meeting and other support facilities that it can use to help its member companies in their export efforts.

  • ALTIOS International offers extensive market research capabilities to help companies target their export promotion efforts and is currently working with toy companies actively pursuing the Chinese market. 

“Since the year 2000, the global toy market has grown from $54 billion to $84 billion, while the North American market has remained relatively stable,” explained Keithley. “With China being one of the fastest growing markets – with 10 million children born each year and an emerging middle class – TIA is exploring ways to help toy industry stakeholders in North America tap into China. Work on using the resources we explored in Shanghai to develop realistic opportunities for TIA members to export their products to China will begin in earnest in 2013.”

TIA continually gathers information from its members about the new market opportunities they are exploring and the resources they need to accomplish their export goals. Please contact Marian Bossard, TIA vice president of meetings and events or Ed Desmond, TIA EVP of external affairs to relay efforts and ask questions about growing into China and other overseas markets.