In recent years, Vietnam handicrafts have always been in the group of 10 export items with the largest turnover. In addition, the handicraft industry has played an important role in rural economic restructure, attracted many workers and contributed to poverty alleviation.
According to the Vietnam Handicraft Exporters Association, profit margin of Vietnamese handicrafts is higher than other industries. Moreover, this industry attracts a large number of local workers and has great export potential. Therefore, the handicraft industry is considered a key industry to focus on developing in the coming years.
Vietnamese handicraft production is mainly based on a system of more than 2,500 craft villages across the country. Handicraft villages have created jobs for more than five million rural workers. Although the handicraft industry has a low export turnover compared to many other export items, but it brings a high proportion of foreign currency.
Because Vietnamese handicraft production mostly exploits local sources of raw materials and hardly depends on importing materials, it is considered as an industry with high internal characteristics. Also, the industry has good conditions for development in many regions, contributing to the transformation of labor and economic structures. In addition, skillful workers and low salary are advantages for export expansion of Vietnam handicrafts.
Vietnam’s handicraft products have been present in more than 160 countries and territories around the world. The export turnover of Vietnam handicrafts in the period 2015-2019 increased by an annual average of 9.5%, reaching to 2.23 billion USD in 2019. The US is the largest consumer market (with sales accounting for 35% of annual export turnover). In addition, other markets such as Japan, the European Union, Austalia, Korea have imported an increasing value.
Vietnam handicrafts for export mainly include 5 groups: handbags, sport equipment, ceramic goods, rattan and bamboo products, and art wood. In addition, many fashion items have been exported on the spot to the foreign visitors (accounting for 15% of total value). However, Vietnam’s local export market has not been strategically focused in recent times.
Developing the export of Vietnam’s handicrafts is one of the areas of great attraction from the Government. The Government considers the development of the handicraft industry as an effective policy measure to transform the economic structure in rural regions. Moreover, consumers nowadays prefer clean-environmentally friendly products, which are safe to use. Therefore, handicraft products using recycled materials and fair trade channels are increasingly developed.
One of the basic solutions for sustainable development of Vietnamese handicrafts is to improve the commercial value of products. At the same time, it is necessary to promote export markets to ensure stable output for handicrafts. This is also the orientation that the Government has directed throughout the process of implementing the National Program on Trade Promotion to support the development of export industries.
According to preliminary statistics, since 2012 the Government has supported more than 30 billion VND for Vietnamese handicraft businesses to improve product design and development abilities. Also, the Government helped businesses to join international exhibitions for craft products in key markets: EU, the US, and Japan. According to the assessment of the implementing units and participating enterprises, trading promotion activities with the support of the state budget help Vietnamese business of handicrafts for market penetration, maintaining and expanding relationships with target customers.
At each international fair, Vietnamese enterprises have directly connected with an average of about 500 customers from many other countries around the world. When coming to the fair, businesses have gained a lot of market trend research skills through the display areas of major customers and regional competitors. Also, they learned to correctly assess the situation and developments, market trends, opportunities and potentials as well as risks and challenges to build a long-term operation strategy.
Through participating in international exhibitions, it not only helps Vietnamese handicraft enterprises promote their trademarks and products, but also helps businesses directly observe and learn requirements and expectations from customers. Thereby, export businesses of handicrafts get the right orientation in product development and further promote opportunities for business cooperation. Maintaining regular attendance at international fairs is very important, which creates trust with customers for regular access to Vietnamese products, making an important contribution to the long-term cooperation relationship.
Vietnamese sources: https://dangcongsan.vn/chao-xuan-tan-suu-2021/dat-nuoc-vao-xuan/tiep-tuc-phat-trien-xuat-khau-cac-san-pham-thu-cong-my-nghe-574357.html