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Favourable policies can help handicraft exports grow
Feb '09
The handicraft industry is one of the vital sectors in the economy of Vietnam. Exports from the sector touched US $1 billion last year, and thereby contributed strongly to the national economy. More than this, the sector provides employment to millions of people, particularly to people from rural areas, who would not have alternative sources of employment.

According to the Deputy Chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM city, Mr Hung, all the handicraft products are made from locally produced and indigenous raw materials and are not dependent on imports, which lead to higher profit margins when compared to other products like apparels and footwear, which have high import content.

The industry employs around 13 million people and is the largest employment generator from among all sectors and in the process provides employment to rural people, who do not need to depend on agriculture for a living. The handicraft sector has also helped in increasing the per capita income of people from the rural areas.

Mr Hung suggests that, it is the correct time to bring forth the required changes in the industry to improve its competitiveness and has requested the government to help the sector by organizing global exhibitions and create policies, favourable to the industry. He has also suggested restructuring the handicraft villages if it helps the cause.

He lamented the fact that the handicrafts sector was not able to keep up with ever changing trends and was sticking to outdated mores in design, product quality and packaging. Poor infrastructure and management constraints, he said, was also responsible for craftsmen or companies not being able to fulfill large orders.

So, he concluded by saying that, the handicraft sector was in a position to provide better margins, along with a saving on outgo of precious foreign exchange and had the capability to grow even in this period of severe global economic recession, subject to the government helping the industry with favourable policies.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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