Prague, Czech Republic – Exporting over two billion euros worth a year, the Czech Republic is the EU’s largest toy exporter, according to a new study by UniCredit bank. Thanks in large part to its factory located in Kladno, employing more than 2,000 people, the LEGO Group accounts for two-thirds of total production.
“The Czech Republic took over this lead position in the European market in terms of exports of toys from Germany in 2012, mainly because of a shift of production of Lego toys from Western countries, mainly from the home country of Lego Denmark,” says UniCredit Bank analyst Lubomír Koršňák.
Even without LEGO, the Czechs would still be the second-biggest toy exporters in the EU, points out Radio Praha.
If the Czech Republic, along with Slovakia, has been the fastest-growing toy exporter in the EU since 2004, “significant increases in toy exports have also been recorded in Estonia, Greece and Poland,” adds Lubomír Koršňák.
The study also shows that only four EU countries export more toys than they import, three of which are situated in Central Europe: the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary – the fourth one being Malta. If this is in part due to the relatively cheap labour in the region, Lubomír Koršňák believes that the strong tradition of toy manufacturing in central and eastern Europe also plays a part.
The LEGO Group also has a factory in Hungary in the city of Nyíregyháza.