The export value of handicrafts in the first seven months of this year increased 6 percent year-on-year to 900 million USD though the handicraft industry still faced challenges, said Le Ba Ngoc, chairman cum general secretary of the Viet Nam Handicraft Exporting Association (Vietcraft).
The major export markets of Vietnamese handicraft products made an export value of 355 million USD from the US , 290 million USD from the European Union and 85 million USD from Japan .
Pottery, porcelain, bamboo and rattan products were still key export products for the industry, Ngoc said.
The association expects the industry to achieve an increase of 7-8 percent in export value to 1.6 billion USD for this year against last year, he said.
Ngoc mentioned difficulties the industry faced, ranging from unprofessional marketing, advertising and trade promotion activities to design of products.
The industry should have professional designers and seek out alternative raw materials to diversify products and improve their quality, he said.
To create business opportunities for enterprises within the industry, the association plans to organise a trade fair, Hanoi Gift Show 2012, in October. The show is expected to attract 250 domestic handicraft exporters.
Dao Thu Vinh, Deputy Director of Hanoi 's Industry and Trade Department, said this year, the trade fair was not for handicraft villages as in previous years, but was for exporters.
The Ha Noi Gift Show 2012 is expected to attract visits by foreign importers from markets such as the US, the EU, Russia and Taiwan China, because these importers also plan to attend another chain of trade fairs in the Asia Pacific region in October, Vinh said.-VNA