10:25 | 15/05/2015 Society
(VEN) - Chairman of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, Nguyen Thien Nhan, gave a keynote speech at the workshop called “Vietnamese craft villages: tradition, reality, and development in integration period”, which was held in Hanoi on April 20th. During his address, he underlined the fact that “Vietnamese craft villages not only employ a significant portion of the country’s workforce, they also help preserve the nation’s cultural and spiritual values.”
According to Chairman of the Association of Vietnam Craft Villages Luu Duy Dan, at present Vietnam has over 5,000 craft villages, employing about 10 million workers, of which 1,748 are accredited, most notably the popular Van Phuc silk, Dong Ho painting, or Bat Trang ceramic villages.
Over recent years, the 53 different crafts making around 200 various types of products, have amassed significant economic value as well as safeguarding a great cultural value.
Despite the achievements already made, experts and representatives at the discussion expressed their concerns regarding the sustainable development of craft villages, their weak level of competitiveness; limited access to markets; and loose connectivity in value chains – from designing patterns, to supplying materials, to production, and sales.
These limitations will put craft villages in an inevitably intense arena of competition later this year when the ASEAN Economic Community and free trade agreements come into effect, with many tax lines being cut to five and even zero percent.
Dan proposed that the state needs to adopt support policies to encourage the sustainable development of craft villages. Such support mechanisms would allow them access to lines of credit; promote technological applications to increase the competitiveness of handicraft products; expand markets to rural, mountainous regions; treat environmental pollution in craft villages; and boost craft village tourism.
Chairman of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, Nguyen Thien Nhan said, “There are no countries that have as many craft villages as Vietnam. The craft villages gather the essence of folk culture and preserve the special values of the Vietnamese people. Today, the craft villages not only provide jobs for laborers, they also highlight Vietnamese cultural characteristics within the region and the world.”
Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said, “Products made by craft villages met a large part of the domestic market demand and contributed significantly to Vietnam’s exports. In 2014, bamboo, rattan and reed exports brought in US$250 million, up 9.1 percent from 2013, while ceramic and pottery exports yielded US$508 million, up 76 percent from 2013.
A problem hindering craft village development lies in the overlapping, inefficient state management of craft villages. In most of localities, craft villages are managed by departments of agriculture and rural development, while in other localities craft villages are managed by departments of industry and trade. Craft villages remained tardy in renovating production and trading models. There were mainly inpidual and household-scale businesses and craft villages need to have more large scale businesses such as cooperatives and enterprises. Therefore, craft village producers still encounter difficulties in product design development and market approach. It is important to issue appropriate law documents to promote craft village development.”
By Thanh Tam & Viet Nga