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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Joint UN programme boosts employment opportunities for Viet Nam handicrafts producers

HANOI, 15 March 2011 - National experts, scientists, and representatives of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from Viet Nam’s Phu Tho province attended a UNIDO-organized technical seminar on lacquer collection and processing that took place today.

The event, a first of its kind designed for the country’s lacquer industry, was facilitated by experts from Meiji University, Okinawa University, the Tokyo Technology Institute and Hanoi University of Technology.

“UNIDO`s intervention in this field is focused on supporting SMEs and grass-root producers in the handicraft sector adapt and adopt cleaner production methods and techniques. These would improve productivity and the quality of products, reduce the environmental impact, improve working conditions and enable access to international value chains,” said Gilabert Patrick, UNIDO’s Representative in Viet Nam.
 
Japanese experts shared experiences and practices on lacquer chemistry analysis, lacquer craft and lacquer processing, and introduced green products made from lacquer tree skin and lacquer seed such as candle, soap and wax.

“The main problem is, that more and more Vietnamese lacquer businesses prefer cashew nut oil over lacquer liquid due to its relatively lower price, consistent quality, more stable supply chain and, most importantly, the shorter time required for drying after painting,” said Dinh Van Hien from the Lacquer World Company.  

He added that local producers were counting on UNIDO to find a solution to shorten the drying time so that enterprises can apply local lacquer liquid in mass production of lacquer ware to meet the market demand.

Lacquer has an over 2000-year tradition in Viet Nam and Vietnamese modern lacquer-work is an integral part of the national cultural identity.

However, at present over 70 per cent of lacquer sap harvested as raw material is exported to China against fluctuating prices, and only 30 per cent remains for domestic lacquer ware production.

The seminar was part of a broader, joint UN programme, which aims to improve the lives of some 4800 households in the north of Viet Nam, including some 1400 families from disadvantaged ethnic minorities. The programme, that started less than a year ago, helps one of the poorest regions in Viet Nam to develop better integrated, environmentally sustainable activities in five craft sectors: bamboo and rattan, sericulture and weaving, sea grass, lacquerware and handmade paper.

For more information, please contact the UNIDO Viet Nam Office:

office.vietnam@unido.org