As France turns to economic patriotism at a time of crisis, the first exhibition touting "Made in France" products opens Friday in Paris.

With France's flagging economy, and hourly manufacturing costs 20% higher than the European average, President Francois Hollande and his administration have been pushing to boost domestic industry.

Fair organizer Fabienne Delahaye said there are "still many sectors where it's possible to buy 'Made in France' products."

Food and clothing feature prominently at the three-day event but there are also a wide range of goods like knives, jewellery, dentures, and toys.

With Christmas approaching, the toy market stands to profit if the French buy local. In 2010 France exported 367 million euros (US$468 million) in toys, but imported 1.5 billion euros (US$1.9 billion) worth, expo organizers said.

They also said many goods were merely assembled in France from parts made overseas.

"Most high-tech products are comprised of parts made in different countries," said Jacques Delpla, associate professor of economics at the University of Toulouse.

In 2011 the French government began giving out "Origine France Garantie" labels to artisans and businesses producing goods in France.

Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg has been leading the "Made in France" charge, encouraging supermarkets to create special sections for French goods. In October he posed on the cover of the magazine Le Parisien wearing a traditional Breton striped sailor shirt, in the past sported by Coco Chanel, Brigitte Bardot, and Pablo Picasso.

An October poll showed 78% of the French support the supermarket proposal, and elsewhere two thirds said they would pay more for an item made in France.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012