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5mil labourers in trade villages to lose jobs   2009-01-14 - Tien phong

It is estimated that a half of the workshops in trade villages will be dissolved, which will lead to 5mil workers losing their jobs, according to Luu Duy Dan, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Trade Village Association.


Trade villages drowning


Labourers in Phu Vinh trade village

Pham Tu Tai, 26, related that he set up a pottery workshop in the famous Phu Lang pottery village in Bac Ninh province when he was a student. However, the business has been facing big difficulties since the beginning of 2008 as he cannot find outlets for his products.


Tai said that other pottery workshops in the village have been facing the same problems. Over 2,000 labourers are facing the risk of losing their jobs.


In the Phu Vinh bamboo and rattan knitting village in Chuong My district in Hanoi, Nguyen Thi Van related that she went to the workshop some days ago to ask the owner if there was any work, but the owner just shook her head. Her husband has left for Ha Dong town to practice as a motorbike driver.


When reporters arrived in Hang Do bamboo and rattan knitting workshop, 60 female workers were seen working, but they all were very anxious. The workshop’s owner Nguyen Van Do said that the difficulties in 2009 are expected to be double those of 2008 with narrowed outlets and low bank loans.


Do added that if his workshop closes, thousands of workers in the village will suffer.


Most of the workshops in Phu Vinh Village are working perfunctorily, while others have shut down, 1/3 of labourers have lost jobs, and turnover has decreased by tens of billions of VND.


Seeking ways out


Nguyen Van Trung, Director of Hoa Son Company, said that workshops in trade villages now have to focus on the domestic market as the way out in the difficult period.


Nguyen Minh Long, Director of Phu Hoa Trang Company, also said that enterprises should not expect on direct support from the state, they need to take actions to save themselves.


Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said that the ministry will propose that the government instruct commercial banks to extend bank debt payment and freeze debts to support trade villages in difficulties.


He also said that the ministry will push up the programming of material growing areas, while encouraging workshops to focus on the domestic market.


Luu Duy Dan, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Trade Village Association, said that besides the three existing difficulties (lack of capital, uncertain markets, backward technologies), workshops in trade villages have new challenges. These include environment pollutional, weak workforce, lack of workshop premises, unstable material areas.


Dan said that the difficulties, which come coincidently in the context of the global economic recession, may lead to the disappearance of many trade villages.


Statistics show that there are some 3,000 trade villages which provide jobs for 11mil direct labourers and tens of millions of indirect labourers. 60% of workshops are trying to struggle to survive, while 20% of enterprises are at the point of death.

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