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Paul French

The production of Christmas presents is getting under heavy pressure because of the restrictions on visas for China, tells China-guru Paul French the Guardian. Because buyers, inspectors and others cannot enter China because of the restrictions, our presents might be late or very expensive.

“With a lot of big international brands you have to do independent, external factory inspections for quality assurance and ethical issues because there’s been too much trouble over issues like corruption. But at the moment factory inspectors can’t get in to check orders.

“The government is saying in September everything will be back to normal, but that’s too late for Christmas because everything has to be out by mid-October at the latest and for America even earlier, otherwise there’ll be no glad rags on the high street. That may mean some factories go under.

“Smaller manufacturers are bitching that the Olympics are killing them. Two-thirds of textile firms operate on margins of less than 1%, so there’s not much wriggle room.”

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