A chance to empower Hà Nội's craft communities

July 06, 2024 - 07:44
A conference was held on July 5 giving crafts men and women the opportunity to discuss their concerns and address future challenges.

By Trinh Nguyễn

HÀ NỘI — Conical hats, toy figurines, lacquerware and embroidery, are just a few of the many unique and traditional crafts made in and around Việt Nam's capital city.

Authorities in Hà Nội know this, and want to ensure such work is protected and exploited for the benefit of all that work in the sector.

A conference was held on July 5 giving crafts men and women the opportunity to discuss their concerns and address future challenges.

The Conference on Dialogue to Overcome Difficulties and Promote Business Production for Enterprises, Cooperatives, and Business Households Operating in Craft Villages in Hà Nội in 2024 was held at the headquarters of the Hà Nội People's Committee.

Chaired by Trần Sỹ Thanh, Member of the Party Central Committee, Deputy Secretary of the City Party Committee, and Chairman of the Hà Nội People's Committee, the conference discussed various issues such as planning, infrastructure, tourism and the environment of craft villages; support policies for craft villages; science and technology, trade promotion, branding and linking raw material regions to find practical solutions for the city's sectors and levels.

According to Deputy Chairman of the Hà Nội People's Committee Nguyễn Mạnh Quyền, the conference demonstrates Hà Nội's commitment to always accompany the business community and entrepreneurs of the capital; continue to implement drastic solutions to support and resolve obstacles for enterprises, especially to overcome difficulties in administrative procedures, improve the business investment environment; implement digital transformation in the government system and support enterprises.

Deputy Chairman of the Hà Nội People's Committee, Nguyễn Mạnh Quyền, delivers the opening speech at the conference. - VNS Photo Trinh Nguyễn

Speaking to Việt Nam News on the sidelines of the seminar, Hà Thị Vinh, chairman of the Hanoi Craft and Artisans Association expressed her happiness and having the opportunity to discuss in detail issues faced.

“This is a golden opportunity for craft villages to overcome difficulties," she said.

"City leaders have deeply analysed every detail to understand the challenges faced by craft villages, businesses, cooperatives, and individuals in this sector, including areas such as planning, training, trade promotion and infrastructure. Through the conference, we hope that the villages will bring new ideas, and the city can better collaborate with them.”

The preservation and development of craft villages have always been of concern and supported by the city. The programme dated March 17, 2021, by the Hà Nội Party Committee for the 2021-2025 period considers "promoting the development of rural industries and rural economy" as an important content in the economic development of the capital.

To date, the city has 1,350 craft villages and villages with crafts, and 745 out of 2,711 (27.48 per cent) OCOP products of the city are products of these villages. The revenue of these craft villages is estimated to exceed VNĐ24,000 billion, with diverse products of beautiful designs and good quality. Some craft villages with substantial revenue include the Sơn Đồng sculpture village, the La Phù confectionery and knitting village, the Minh Khai agricultural product processing village, the Phùng Xá agricultural machinery village, the Hữu Bằng woodworking and tailoring village, the Thiết Úng traditional crafts village and the two leather shoe villages of Giẽ Thượng and Giẽ Hạ in Phú Yên commune. The craft villages have been actively contributing to the restructuring and development of the rural economy, laying the groundwork for successfully implementing the one-commune-one-product (OCOP) programme and the new rural construction programme in the city.

Director of Hà Nội Promotion Agency Nguyễn Ánh Dương told the conference: “The City Party Committee and the People's Committee have directed various departments to implement synchronised measures to support craft village enterprises, promoting their products to different markets.

"Our craft village products have received significant attention, notably from major commercial centres such as AEON, LOTTE, CGV, where transactions and contracts have been successfully concluded. Recently, the Chairman of the Hà Nội People's Committee has directed the selection of prominent craft villages for international introductions. Additionally, there have been numerous other promotion activities in Hà Nội and provinces, including regional specialty programmes and events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the capital.”

The conference provides an opportunity for businesses, household enterprises, and artisans from Hà Nội's craft villages to engage in direct dialogue with city leaders. - VNS Photo Minh Phương

Information from the conference indicates that the Hà Nội Promotion Agency (HPA) will soon collaborate with relevant agencies to organise delegations for overseas trade promotion under the city's support mechanisms and policies. These include the Ambiente Frankfurt 2025 Fair in Germany, a fair in Hong Kong (China), and others.

Emphasising the importance of trade promotion, Hà Thị Vinh said: “Trade promotion is one of the crucial issues for us. We believe there are ample opportunities in foreign markets, but the challenge lies in how we enter these markets.

"For our handicrafts to sustainably enter the global arena, the manufacturing facilities in craft villages must meet international standards. This is both an important issue and a difficulty we face. We hope that the city can establish exemplary models that meet international standards, so that other facilities can learn and increase their chances of exporting abroad.”

Lê Văn Nguyên, an embroidery artisan, shared his views on the role of information technology in developing business for handicraft products.

He said: “Applying new technology throughout the production and consumption chain is crucial for profitability in craft villages, reducing costs and enhancing competitiveness. From production processes to operations, management, online and direct sales and trade fairs, technology plays a pivotal role.

"These factors can be unfamiliar to producers and small business owners, highlighting the need for specific, verified guidance and targeted support from both central and local levels.”

According to the municipal People's Committee, the city's traditional crafts and villages captivate both domestic and international tourists with their rich cultural heritage and the ingenuity of skilled artisans.

These unique products include Phú Vinh bamboo and rattan weaving, Chuông conical hats, Hạ Thái lacquerware, Tây Tựu flowers, Quất Động embroidery, Vạn Phúc silk, Bát Tràng ceramics, Xuân La toy figurines, Mễ Trì green rice, Chàng Sơn fans, Đào Thục water puppets, Thạch Xá bamboo dragonflies, Ngũ Xã bronze casting, and Định Công silver carving.

The preservation and development of these craft villages, integrated with cultural, agricultural, and rural tourism, provide multifaceted economic benefits to the local community. This approach is a vital strategy for Hà Nội, both now and in the future. - VNS