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HANOI, Jan 11 Asia Pulse - The Vietnamese Trade Ministry will accelerate trade promotion in combination with tourism to increase incomes and improve the living conditions of people in craft villages.

In the long term, the move aims at tapping these villages' strong points and ensuring their sustainable development.

Handicraft and fine art products of Vietnamese villages have been gaining more and more customers, and earning themselves a firm foothold in some major markets. Their output value has been growing at an average of 19 per cent a year. Handicraft also helps generate jobs and increase effective working time in rural areas.

The State has issued policies on land, capital and support of trade in order to promote production in craft villages. The government has instructed relevant ministries and services to implement material production development programmes, establishing craft designing centres, providing credit for small- and medium-sized enterprises in craft villages, orgnaising annual trade fairs and establishing associations of professions.

Vietnam now has 2,017 officially designated craft villages with 1.4 million households involved in the production process, employing about 11 million workers. Revenues of handicraft villages are on the increase.

According to the Trade Ministry, the export value of handicrafts and fine art products increased from US$6.8 million in 1990 to about $600 million in 2006. The government has set an export revenue target of $1.5 billion for these products by 2010.

However, the household-based handicraft production make it difficult for producer to get stable equipment supply, said Vu Quoc Tuan, President of the Association of Vietnamese Craft Villages. With small capital, limited activity area and low production capacity, household businesses are unable to meet major purchase orders. Producers should try to cooperate with other businesses or services to be able to export their products, and overcome their sector's shortcomings, Tuan said.

Reprinted with permission from Vietnam News Agency


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