10:00 | 12/07/2019 Society
(VEN) - Traditional markets are not only where traders earn their incomes, they also have unique features in each community and contribute to preserving local cultural character. However, traditional markets are facing many difficulties.
Absence of State investment
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, traditional markets play an important role in the overall distribution system of the country, especially in rural areas. By the end of 2018, Vietnam had 8,475 markets, of which 229 are 1st grade markets; 903 are ranked second grade; 7,205 third grade and 138 markets have not yet been classified. The total value of goods and services through the market system accounts for about 40 percent of domestic sales.
However, government decrees No.02/2003/ND-CP and No.114/2009/ND-CP on market development and management clearly state that “The State budget cannot be used to build, upgrade and repair markets”.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, private sector investments in several regions have resulted in strong, more modern and synchronous rural market development, However, investment is not always forthcoming for small temporary markets in remote rural areas, resulting in a downgrading of many of these distribution channels.
Choosing an appropriate plan
A number of traditional markets have been reconstructed, upgraded, or transformed into different models in order to serve consumer demand better. However, this raises concerns about the disappearance of traditional markets.
At a recent seminar on the traditional market model, architect Dr. Dao Ngoc Nghiem, former director of the Hanoi Department of Planning and Architecture, said trading space in traditional markets must be preserved but without affecting cultural and safe architectural spaces.
Many seminar participants said state agencies and local authorities should manage such market transformation projects, with every step carefully assessed before working out appropriate plans. These transformation schemes also need to be discussed in a public and democratic manner among merchants in the projects, creating community consensus and support.
Acting as a state management agency in industry and trade, the Ministry of Industry and Trade urged provincial People’s Committees along with their departments of Industry and Trade to keep encouraging investments from the private sector to develop traditional markets. On the other hand, they should continue to study and propose to the Government the amendment and supplementation of related policies to facilitate the development of traditional market networks.
Experts say traditional shopping channels are still an inherent cultural feature of Vietnam that cannot be replaced in
the immediate future.