Women make rattan products for export at an establishment in the central province of Quảng Nam. VNA/VNS Photo Thiên Trường
HÀ NỘI - About 2.3 million people are currently involved in rural trade in Việt Nam, marking an increase of 300,000 people since 2017.
Their average income is now VNĐ 4-5 million (US$ 90-100) per month, double the income generated by farming.
There are currently over 817,000 units specialising in rural trade nationwide with total revenue of VNĐ 236.2 trillion (US$10.2 billion ), an increase of VNĐ 40 million compared with 2017.
These figures were released on Monday by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development after a review of the implementation of Decree 52/2018/NĐ-CP over the last two years.
Head of the ministry’s Co-operative Economy and Rural Development Lê Đức Thịnh said that Việt Nam’s craft products were exported to 163 countries and territories around the world, including the US, Japan and EU.
Last year, Việt Nam earned $2.35 billion from exporting craft products, Thịnh said, adding that in the first seven months of this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, exports of craft products like bamboo, pottery and embroidery still achieved positive growth.
On April 12, 2018, the Government issued Decree No. 52/2018/ND-CP on the development of rural trade.
Under the decree, seven groups of rural trade activities are supported, including processing and preserving agricultural, forest and aquatic products; producing fine-art handicrafts; processing materials serving rural trade production; and producing timber, rattan and bamboo, ceramic and porcelain, glass, textile and garment, fibre, embroidery, knitwear, and small mechanical engineering products.
It also covers the provision of services for rural inhabitants.
These activities are being supported from production to promotion, with priority loans, science and technology and human resources training.
Also in accordance with the decree, a craft shall be recognised as 'traditional' when it fully satisfies the following three criteria: having existed in the locality for over 50 years and still being developed by the time of request for recognition; creating products bearing the nation’s cultural identity; being associated with the name(s) of one or more artisans or with the name of a certain craft village.
Besides expanding markets for trade products, the decree is also expected to help preserve traditional crafts in Việt Nam’s rural areas.
Thịnh said that rural trade and trade villages were typical characteristics of Việt Nam’s culture and rural economy.
“The development of rural trade helps boost economic development in rural areas and change the socio-economic structure towards industrialisation and modernisation,” he said.
Agriculture minister Nguyễn Xuân Cường said that agriculture was a foundation of Việt Nam’s economy, so at every stage of its development, there were always policies to boost production and rural development.
He said that in the last two years since the issuance of Decree 52, more than VNĐ540 billion had been mobilised to support rural trade activities.
However, Cường said that rural areas still faced problems including low labour productivity, environmental pollution, and modest and unstable value chains for rural products.
Joint efforts were needed to boost rural trade so it could develop effectively and sustainably, the minister said. VNS