Follow us on: 

UN joint programme increases employment opportunities for Vietnamese handicrafts producers

Print Email

Farmer in Phu Tho Province tapping a lacquer tree
Ha Noi, 22 March 2011 - Despite an almost 80 percent drop in its poverty rate over the last 15 years, Viet Nam continues to struggle with significant inequalities and need, particularly in rural areas where the vast majority of the country’s poor reside. Farming is often not sufficient to keep households above the national poverty line, and many farming families rely on producing handicrafts and the raw materials they require in order to survive.

Now a joint UN program funded by the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F) is increasing income and employment opportunities for growers and collectors of raw materials and producers of handicrafts. The initiative targets 4,800 households in the north of the country, including 1,400 families from disadvantaged ethnic minorities such as the Thai, Muong and H’mong. About 40% of these households live below the poverty line of 200,000 VND per capita/month (about 0.35 US$/day).

The UN programme’s approach is to develop better integrated, environmentally sustainable activities in five craft sectors: bamboo and rattan, sericulture and weaving, sea grass, lacquerware and handmade paper.

Within the framework of the Joint Programme, the United Nation Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) organized a “Technical Seminar on Lacquer Collection and Processing”.

Attending the seminar were representatives from Phu Tho Province, national experts and scientists, SMEs, lacquerware artists, VIETRADE, VIETCRAFT and other related agencies. The seminar was facilitated by Japanese experts from Meiji University, Okinawa University, and Tokyo Technology Institute and Hanoi University of Technology.

Opening at the seminar, Mr. Gilabert Patrick – Representative of UNIDO in Viet Nam – noted that, ”this seminar is part of UNIDO’s efforts aiming at improving lacquer production in Viet Nam”.

UNIDO`s intervention is focused on supporting SMEs and grass-root producers in the handicraft sector adapt and adopt cleaner production methods and techniques and promotion of innovative and sustainable product development and designs. These would improve productivity and quality of products, reducing environmental impact, improving working conditions and enabling access to international value chains.

In Viet Nam, lacquer has a long tradition. More than 2,000 years ago, during the period of the Dong Son culture, the Vietnamese people already knew how to process raw lacquer to make functional and decorative items. Vietnamese modern lacquer-work is an integral part of national cultural identity. Many villages all over the country are now engaged in lacquer-work. Today, Vietnamese lacquer ware products are exported to many countries. Tam Nong district in Phu Tho province is a famous area in Northern Viet Nam for cultivation of lacquer trees. Lacquer production has been chosen to be one key strategic sector for economic development in the district.

At present, however, over 70 percent of lacquer sap harvested as raw material is exported to China against fluctuating prices, whilst only the remaining 30 percent remains for domestic lacquer ware production.

At the seminar, Prof. Miyakoshi Tessuo and his colleagues shared experiences and practices on lacquer chemistry analysis, lacquer craft and lacquer processing in Japan. Mr. Bach Trong Phuc presented an analysis on the composition of Vietnamese natural lacquer. Japanese experts also introduced other green products made from lacquer tree skin and lacquer seed such as candle, soap and wax.

Mr. Dinh Van Hien from Lacquer World company pointed out the main problem, noting that lacquer ware producers in Phu Tho and other provinces 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. It’s hoped that the experts of UNIDO can 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”, expressed Mr. Dinh Van Hien.

The main conclusions of the seminar, together with fact finding analysis of the Japanese experts and national expert during a field mission to Phu Tho province and surrounding Hanoi will provide a strong foundation to formulate recommendations, solutions for UNIDO’s next activities to improve the process of lacquer production in Vietnam towards green production.

For more information contact:

The Programme Management Unit
Joint Programme Green Production and Trade
Address: 6th Floor, Ly Thuong Kiet 20, Hanoi, Viet Nam
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Fax: +84 4 39393615

See also the:



New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December


Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.


The secretary-general's message for the International Day to End Violence against Women and Girls


25 November 2016 - At long last, there is growing global recognition that violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, public health pandemic and serious obstacle to sustainable development.  Yet there is still much more we can and must do to turn this awareness into meaningful prevention and response.


UNIDO Director General's Op-Ed Article to media on the occasion of UNIDO's 50th anniversary


Did you know that in Viet Nam, the net flow of foreign direct investment increased from USD1billion in 2003 to USD10 billion in 2008, and that by 2015 reached USD23 billion?  Or that the total value of exports rose from USD2 billion in 1990 to USD72 billion in 2010, to reach USD162 billion in 2015? These impressive figures highlight the country’s robust economic success, providing a boost to the economy and employment.

These accomplishments are largely due to the reforms undertaken by Viet Nam since Doi Moi in 1986 which liberalized the economy, attracted foreign investment, fostered exports and reduced poverty. To prepare for reform, Viet Nam received extensive technical assistance from the international community, including from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), well before 1986 and, more precisely, since 1978.

For more than 35 years, UNIDO has been sharing international best practices to help Viet Nam develop inclusive and sustainable industry. With more than USD100 million in expenditure, UNIDO’s technical cooperation activities have been carried out across a broad range of fields, including support to the private sector and technical and industrial research organizations, facilitation of technology transfer, trade capacity-building, human resource development, environmental protection, energy efficiency, investment promotion and responsible business practices.


Call for participation - Volunteering for SDGs – UNV Vietnam Facebook Photo Contest

Volunteering for Sustainable Development Goals – UNV Vietnam Facebook Photo Contest

On the occasion of International Youth Day (IYD) celebration event organized by the UN in Vietnam "Vietnamese Youth: Partners in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals", the UNV Field Unit (FU) in Vietnam is thrilled to launch its Facebook Photo Contest – "Volunteering for Sustainable Development Goals". Vietnamese Youth is a driving force of Volunteerism and has an important role to play in achieving SDGs, including through Volunteer activities. Show the world how you contribute to achieving the SDGs by Volunteering! Either you are a young volunteer or any other kind of volunteer, you are welcome to join the contest!

RSS Email Subscription

Enter your email address: