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Handicraft producers kept busy, happy   2010-03-29 - VietNamNet/Tuoi tre

Unlike the beginning of the year, handicraft producers are now very busy. They must speed up production and recruit more workers to fill the many orders placed by partners, both happy tasks for businesses.



Big orders coming


Many contracts have been signed in the first months of 2010, which people think augers well for the production year.


Le Phuc Thinh, Deputy Director of HCM City-based Saigon Palm, calculated that, just within one month, the company got two big orders (eight 40-feet containers) from Australia and New Zealand. Besides, the company is still negotiating with partners from Spain, Egypt, Japan and Estonia.


Thinh said that besides loyal clients, the company has many new partners. Currently, the company can export 5-7 containers of products, instead of just three as in early 2009. The contracts signed at the start of 2010 will bring more jobs until the end of June 2010.


At Hung Thai Company’s workshop in Binh Duong province, 100 laborers were hard at work. Director Thai Van Anh Hung noted that the company has orders to make 150,000 pairs of wooden clogs for European partners. In Asia, besides the standard Japanese market, the company is also making products to export to Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.


Luong Thi Thuy, Chair of Hiep Luc Cooperative in Dong Nai province, also stated that the cooperative is hurrying to make products worth 2.5 billion dong within three months for export to Europe and the US.


Design is the key


When discussing Vietnam’s handicraft production, production experts all say that the biggest problem of the industry is the lack of design diversification.


“Our partners always ask: Do you have new designs? If we say ‘no’, we will lose the partners,” admitted Phuc Thinh. Saigon Palm now has a division with Vietnamese and Australian designers who specialize in creating new products.


Thai Van Anh Hung also observed that diversification is vital. “We must change designs regularly in order to meet demand from import countries and to compete well with clogs made in China,” Hung maintained.


Hung recalled that, two years ago, European markets favored clogs with flower and leaf patterns. Chinese producers then launched products with similar patterns and with lower prices, which forced Hung Thai to develop other designs.


Vietnam aims to export $1.5 billion in handicraft products for 2010. However, Dang Quoc Hung, Deputy Chair of the HCM City Association for Handicraft and Wood Industry (HAWA), confirms that the goal may be unattainable. Hung claims that the industry still lacks many elements needed to obtain high results, including capital, a skilled labor force, good advertisement and excellent product design.

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