Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NAM — Poor marketing and brand creation, and the lack of a famous brand has seen provincial crafts lagging behind and at a disadvantage in both, domestic and world markets.
These opinion were voiced by local craftsmen and businesses at a conference on the introduction of the Crafted in Quảng Nam seal in collaboration with UNESCO’s Hà Nội Office and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Hội An City recently.
The traditional craft industry from 65 villages contributes 30 per cent of the annual provincial industrial production value, but it still faces challenges when approaching regional and world markets.
Nguyễn Văn Thông, an official from the provincial department of Industry and Trade said only 34 products out of 100 from 12 production units were recognised with the CraftedQuang Nam seal in 2016.
“Craft villages create over 100 hand-made products, but only 20 are recognised with industrial ownerships,” Thông said.
“The province, in co-operation with UNESCO and ILO and local businesses, built up a brand of Quảng Nam’s crafts in a programme to develop the trade,” Thông said.
The seal would create an invisible value for the provincial villages’ crafts and improve income for craftsmen, according to Thông.
Chairman of provincial Crafts Association Nguyễn Văn Tiếp said the seal was an intellectual property of craftsmen in the province.
He said it would help businesses strongly confirm the brand of hand-made products of Quảng Nam, while improving the income of local people and quality.
Võ Bảy, vice chairman of Quảng Nam’s Co-operative Union, stressed that trademark is still a new concept among craft businesses.
“Most businesses have yet to recognise the importance of a brand. They (households) do not care to build their product’s brand under strict regulations and standards,” Bảy said.
Nguyễn Thị Huyền, a staff from ILO, said Quảng Nam was seen as the first location in Việt Nam to build a successful brand for a craft product.
“It is a crucial step to promote provincial crafts and make it a success. The seal would help tourists recognise Quảng Nam’s crafts among thousands of products from other locals,” Huyền said.
Huyền said tourists wish to take home a souvenir from Hội An, Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary or Chàm Island, but they are always confused with a Quảng Nam-made product and those from other locals.
She said tourists do not wish to take home souvenirs that they can buy at trading centres in big cities.
Trần Thị Thu Thủy, from UNESCO’s Hà Nội Office, said the seal Crafted in Quảng Nam, can be inked together with their own names of Thanh Hà pottery or Kim Bồng Carpentry village.
She also warned of strict management and supervision of the Crafted in Quảng Nam seal with regard to quality control of the product. “It needs close control from the association as businesses could stamp the seal on unqualified handicraft products instead.”
Huỳnh Nguyển An Bình, whose wood sculpture was recognised with a Crafted in Quảng Nam seal, said Quảng Nam’s handicrafts still need skilful design, pattern or portable creation in attracting tourists, while promoting images of Hội An.
Hoàng Tưởng, who is an owner of an aloeswood processing base in Tiên Phước District, said his company earns VNĐ2 billion ($88,000) from export of aromatic bracelets, and sculptures to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan, but it is still small in volume and unstable.
“The seal would help us promote Made-in-Quảng Nam products with a sealed quality and brand. Customers could distinguish hand-made products from Quảng Nam with products from other locals in Việt Nam or another country,” Tưởng said.
Huyền, from ILO, stressed that the introduction of the seal is only the first step in a long-term plan to build a strong and impressive brand name of Quảng Nam’s handicraft industry.
She said it needs positive co-operation from businesses and flexible management and co-ordination between provincial departments. — VNS