Hanoi to pay 70% for craft villages’ trademarks

The Hanoi City government agreed to cover 70 per cent of costs for building and developing the trademarks of the city’s surrounding handicraft villages, said the municipal People’s Committee deputy chairman, Phi Thai Binh.

He said the city government had issued Decision No 22, which aimed to preserve and develop handicraft villages.

According to the Decision, the city’s support will include giving brand names to village trademarks, designing logos, registering for trademark protection, providing consultancy for building and managing the trademarks, setting regulations to use the trademarks, and establishing criteria for quality control. This support applies to all scales of production found in the villages: larger organisations, medium- and small-scale industrial businesses, and especially the traditional, artisanal handicraft businesses.

To encourage the handicraft villages to expand their consumer markets, the city will help businesses in the handicraft villages to gain better access to market information. The city will also help the villages and their businesses to develop websites hosted within the city’s website.

In another move to expand the villages’ promotional capacity, the city will cover 100 per cent of the cost of hiring and outfitting booths at domestic exhibitions, and 50 per cent of these costs at foreign exhibitions.

Directors of enterprises and the owners of industrial, small industrial and handicraft businesses will also be covered for 50 per cent of expenses for participating in foreign exhibitions.

Decision No 22 of the city People’s Committee applies to organisations and individuals who directly invest in industrial production, small industry and handicraft making in handicraft villages in districts on the outskirt of the city.

According to the decision, the city will cover 100 per cent of the costs for training labourers at the handicraft villages. This will be earmarked from the city’s budget for the development of industry. The city will also cover 100 per cent of expenses to train and upgrade the management skills of enterprise leaders.

Handicraft village businesses that apply the ISO 9001 quality management standards will each receive VND30 million each, while businesses that apply the ISO 14000 will be given VND60 million (US$3,715) each.

Moreover, to help popularise their trademarks, the city government will allow handicraft villages firms to advertise free of charge on the city’s website, the city’s Department of Industry’ website, and at the city’s Trade Centre.

According to Le Hong Ky, a researcher at the Ha Noi Folklore Association, because of urbanisation, many handicraft villages that were once merely close to Hanoi have now become city neighborhoods, reducing the available area for handicraft production, so that many handicraft jobs have disappeared. Most flower-growing villages on the outskirts of Hanoi, for instance, have been replaced by villa developments.

At a recent seminar held by the association, many handicraft artists said the handicraft villages were gradually vanishing as they failed to meet the demands of modern life.

Only a few Hanoian handicraft artists still survive, and every year some become too old to work while others pass away.

The participants agreed that although many handicraft villages turned out high-quality products, most of them had trouble reaching international markets. Eighty per cent of handicraft products are sold domestically and handicraft artists therefore have to accept buying prices set by shop owners.

Products can only be exported to overseas markets via foreign investment companies. Some domestic companies have launched promotional campaigns in foreign markets. So far, however, these have only served to advertise the handicraft villages themselves rather than encourage export contracts, because the villages face too many limitations in terms of production techniques and the ability to handle international transactions.

Another problem now facing many handicraft villages is environmental pollution. For example, Trieu Khuc Village in Hanoi supports many traditional industries such as textiles and dusters made from duck and chicken feathers. But the village is seriously polluted by runoff from the poultry farms and processors, as well as the noise of textile equipment.

Another example is Bat Trang pottery village in Gia Lam District, which is famous for pottery and porcelain products. The village now has 800 workshops, creating jobs for a total of 8,200 labourers.
The village also receives 2,000 tourists each month. But in a recent survey of 223 residents of Bat Trang pottery village, 76 people reported respiratory diseases and 23 suffered from tuberculosis.

At present, the handicraft villages around Hanoi include the Bat Trang Village; Van Phuc silk making village, Thanh Khuc Village in Thanh Tri District, famous for making banh chung (glutinous rice cake); Cot Village in Cau Giay District that makes votive paper products; Ngu Xa bronze casting village; Phu Do vermicelli village; Vong Village in Cau Giay District which produces com (green rice flakes); and Yen Phu Village that makes incense, as well as the flower growing villages of Ngoc Ha, Nghi Tam, Nhat Tan and Quang Ba./. (VNS)