Craft villages amaze foreigners
09:10 | 20/03/2012

VGP – Many foreigners are astonished with Vietnamese handicraft products because of their unique features and diverse designs.

Noticeable are 12 major groups of handicraft products in Việt Nam, including bamboo and rattan wares, seagrass and water-hyacinth, ceramics, wood carving, lacquerware, embroidery and lace, stone carving, textile, handmade paper, metal arts, artistic works and others.

Most famous handicraft villages include Bát Tràng Porcelain and Pottery; Vạn Phúc Silk, and Phú Vinh rattan. Many of the Vietnamese handicraft products have so far affirmed their niche in 120 countries and territories around the world with the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea being the biggest customers.

During their trips, many foreigners were excited exploring the making of traditional products in these villages, resulting in the popularity of the tours to handicraft villages.

Numbering 1,500 which are scattering across the country, handicraft villages play an important role in the national economy as they have provided jobs for 70,000 workers and produced over 300 different types of products.

 Annual export turnover of handicrafts (Mil.USD)   - Photo:
The annual growth rate of the villages has increased by 6-15% a year and their average income is from VND 450,000 to VND 4 million (US $21-190) a month, 1.5 to 4 times higher than farming work.

They, however, are facing critical challenges. Many of them are in vicious bind as pollution, limited assess to bank loans, and a lack of planning are holding their development back.

According to a survey by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at Hà Nội University of Science and Technology, 100% of samples of wastewater from trade villages is polluted.

A shortage of workers, skyrocketing costs and fiercer competition from foreign rivals, especially China and India, are handicapping Việt Nam's handicrafts industry.

Other problems for the industry are inefficient vocational training for village managers, enterprises and crafts men and sluggish application of advanced science and technology in production of the craft villages.

By Hải Minh

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