The Fourth Industrial Revolution is leaving a comprehensive impact on the global economy and society at large. Vietnamese craft villages are no exception. They are forced to utitlise science and technology to survive.
Most craft villages in Vietnam used to apply traditional methods for their production thus they find it hard to find their place in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
There’s a call to outline a comprehensive solution ranging from production to trading, consumption, and planning for craft village development.
Economist Nguyen Thua Loc of the National Economics University of Vietnam, offered some suggestions, “Each craft village should determine their own industrial competence and have appropriate road maps for the application of technology 4.0 and make proper investments, especially in equipment and infrastructure. Investing in the workforce and skilled workers is the key to craft villages.
In addition, they must restructure themselves, remove unsuitable traditional products, and develop new items to meet the current need. Diversifying markets is required so that craft villages will not depend on any single market.”
Forming joint ventures, linking production and consumption, and proactively participating in supply chains with domestic and foreign enterprises are among the new development trends of Vietnamese craft villages.
Luu Duy Dan, Chairman of the Vietnam Craft Village Association, said: “It’s necessary to create a link among craft villages, ministries, sectors, localities, and associations to find out how best for craft villages to exist and further grow. On top of training and developing human resources, we should engage in planning of material production zones, expansion of production, trade promotion, and advertisement.”
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has opened up many consumption channels for craft villages which can also sell their products online. They have attached special importance to e-commerce and getting customers involved in product designing and patterning.
Ta Van Tuong, Deputy Director of Hanoi’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department said, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution means Internet of Things, knowledge-based economy and Artificial Intelligence. As a result, craft villages should now turn out refined products representing national traits.”
There are more than 5,400 craft villages in Vietnam with about 50 occupations, employing 11 million workers. Their products have been exported to 160 countries and territories worldwide, earning US$1.7 billion per year.
The application of technology 4.0 is vital for craft villages to improve locals’ income, build new rural areas, and preserve Vietnamese traditions.