Viet Nam crafts fail demand

Thursday, Oct 22, 2015 09:00

The export value of Vietnamese handicrafts in 2014 reached $1.6 billion, up 8 per cent year-over-year. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
HA NOI  (Biz Hub) — Vietnamese fine arts and handicrafts were yet to meet the demand of both international visitors and rich local consumers, a Japanese consultant told a conference in Ha Noi on Tuesday.

Citing major drawbacks, Fumiko Kato, a consultant at the Japan International Cooperation Agency told the conference that handicraft products available in the domestic market still had many flaws, such as their bulky shape, which caused travellers problems in carrying them home and the unattractive designs.

In order to further develop the products, he suggested that craft villages should pay attention to diversifying their designs to fit tastes of tourists while maintaining the typical characteristics of domestically-made handicrafts.

During the event, artisan Nguyen Thi Tam, owner of Mao Silk brand in the capital-based Van Phuc Silk Village said that over past years, her facility has focused on renewing designs of fine arts and handicrafts in an attempt to meeting the demands of customers.

According to Tam, it was difficult for handicraft makers to use traditional manufacturing technologies if they wanted to supply large volumes while ensuring quality. However, advanced production machinery and technology might lose the traditional characteristics of handicraft products.

Nguyen Xuan Ba, chairman of Ha Noi Handicraft Associations called for the government's support to handicraft makers who wished to participate at overseas trade promotions and to advertise their brands. They also needed facilitation in surveying foreign markets and studying the tastes of customers there. That could help them provide suitable products for customers.

The full potential of craft villages are still to be tapped, according to the Viet Nam Handicraft Exporting Association (Vietcraft). Each year, the global crafts market traded in about US$100 billion. However, the Vietnamese market share accounted for only 1.5 per cent.

The export value of Vietnamese handicrafts in 2014 reached $1.6 billion, up 8 per cent year-over-year. Of which, exports of rattans touched $530 million, accounting for 33 per cent of the total exports, while the ceramic industry accounted for $480 million, or 30 per cent, and the weaving industry reached $270 million or 17 per cent.

The export value of household and mosaic wood products was pegged at $130 million or 8 per cent and other groups at $190 million or 12 per cent.

Beside to traditional markets such as the European Union, the United States and Japan, craft firms also focused on exploiting new markets in the BRICS group, whose economies were developing rapidly, including Brazil, Russia, and India, in addition to China and South Africa. These markets were expected to offer great potential to Vietnamese craft exporters. — VNS

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