08:37 | 19/07/2016 Trade
(VEN) - Export turnover of handicraft products has ranged from around US$1.5 billion a year for many years due to designs failing to keep up with consumer trends.
Handicraft businesses need to do market research
Vietnamese handicraft products have made good progress in foreign markets, including Japan, the Republic of Korea and the US. The export value of handicraft products has annually reached US$1.5 billion. However handicrafts have faced many difficulties since the beginning months of this year. Businesses need to find export markets via intermediate partners, leading to a fall in profits.
Chu Dau Ceramic Joint Stock Company Deputy Director Nguyen Huu Hiep said that the company exported some handicraft containers to the Republic of Korea, Russia and Japan in 2015. However since the beginning of this year, the company has not received export orders. Through trade fairs and exhibitions, the company has displayed some products, but has found they have struggled to keep abreast of consumer trends.
Expert Vu Hy Thieu said that US$1.5 billion in export turnover was not commensurate with the potential, and difficulties for the sector were largely self-inflicted. The key reason for the lack of progress has been backward designs and a lack of innovation.
More dynamism needed
Businesses are aware of design issues. However few companies say they are able to pay high salaries for professional designers to create new products. The An Do Company has promoted cooperation with some centers or designers to make seasonal designs.
Duc Phong Co., Ltd. Director Thai Dai Phong said handicraft product design requires large investment. In addition to salaries, businesses must pay for market research and studying consumer trends.
Investing in human resources is seen as a main solution to overcome difficulties for the sector. Organizing training courses related to the realities of the business and attracting younger workers is necessary if the sector is to flourish.
Quang Vinh Ceramic Company Director Ha Thi Vinh said that businesses needed to be active in conducting market research to select suitable product lines. Promoting investment in packaging to attract consumers, providing information about the origin and materials of products and strengthening links between handicraft units was also mentioned.