Arts and parts: Handicraft development needs overhaul

12:25 | 05/08/2018 Industry

(VEN) - With annual export revenues of almost US$2 billion and a high local content, the fine art and handicraft industry is contributing significantly to the country’s economic development, especially to employment in rural areas. However, Vietnam needs to adopt additional measures if it is to increase the revenues and make its fine art and handicraft articles recognized in foreign markets.

arts and parts handicraft development needs overhaul
Enterprises should invest properly in product design

Dang Huy, Head of the Vietnam Craft Village Association’s Research and Development Board, said Vietnam currently has nearly 5,500 craft villages that have brought in large revenues. However, it is lacking connectivity among its components (product design, material supply, production and sales) to form a value chain, resulting in low income for producers and high fees for middlemen.

From a different angle, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Nghi, Rector of the Hanoi University of Industrial Fine Arts, said that over the past 10 years, some craft villages including Bat Trang, Ha Thai, and Chang Son have launched new product designs. However, many of the new products are lacking in terms of creativity and functionality, he said. Product modification and copying have become popular, while producers are still heavily depending on antiquated pattern motifs and enamel colors, he added. Producers in craft villages still focus mainly on old themes such as tu linh (dragon, unicorn, tortoise, and phoenix), tu quy (four seasons), five blessings (wealth, position, longevity, good health, security), bat, and lotus. The Vietnamese fine art and handicraft industry must overcome these handicaps if it is to make a breakthrough, Nghi said.

Dang Huy, Head of the Vietnam Craft Village Association’s Research and Development Board, said a dramatic change is required by applying advanced science and technology in craft villages while preserving products’ traditional cultural values. It is important to set up new cooperatives in order to connect individuals with collectives, and link the various components - such as capital, raw materials, product promotion, and market approach - of production chains, he said.

The state should formulate specific support programs and activities to facilitate cooperation between enterprises and production households, enabling them to quickly launch new products. Localities accommodating craft villages should establish their own handicraft associations through which to work with enterprises, other economic organizations and household production facilities.

Businesses should invest properly in product design, seriously research market trends, prioritize the use of new, environmentally friendly materials, create unique, attractive products, and apply automation technology in design, and biotechnology in production to improve product quality.

Virtually all communes and towns in 21 provinces and cities in the south have gained access to a regular power

supply. In 2018, the EVN SPC will continue to expand power grids in order to bring power to remote areas.

Viet Nga