Pottery Development in Dong Thap

10:21:13 AM | 6/12/2005

Direct Export Targeted
In recent years, pottery export businesses have seen rapid development, making a significant contribution to generating jobs for thousands of people who do not have land or production materials, and boosting the province’s economy. However, according to the Dong Thap Department of Industry, the enterprises’ production organisation needs re-planning for a comprehensive development during international integration process.
Diversified products
Statistics of the Dong Thap Department of Industry show that since 1998 the pottery making for export in Dong Thap province has seen rapid development. In 1986, the province had only one production establishment and five kilns. At present, Dong Thap has five private enterprises and five limited companies, concentrating in Chau Thanh district and Sa Dec town with a total investment capital of around VND 20 billion. These enterprises have generated jobs for over 1,000 people. Tile and brick production has a long last history in Chau Thanh district, where the Dong Thap pottery making industry began to develop. Over the past years, some tile and brick making enterprises have made pottery fine art items, attracting more investors to the industry, such as the Duc Lap, Kim Thach and Tan Mai companies and the Huynh Phat private enterprises. Chau Thanh district has a large-size pottery production, playing an important role in the province’s pottery industry with eight production establishments, capitalised at VND 18.6 billion. They have created jobs for over 700 people and each year export 600,000 products. Dong Thap’s pottery products have become diversified. They are divided into two groups, including pottery for civil use and fine art pottery. The province’s pottery products have specific features, so they have become a favourite choice of customers in Western Europe.
Sustainable development
Most pottery making enterprises in Dong Thap lack investment capital. They cannot get loans from banks because of a lack of assets for mortgage. According to calculation of enterprises, to expand their workshops and renew equipment, each establishment needs at least VND 10 billion, but it is not easy to get loans of between VND 200 million and 300 million. A representative from the Tan Mai Company said that an information shortage and under-developed marketing, trademark building and product promotion activities had hampered the development of Dong Thap’s pottery industry. Khuc Quang Dung, director of the Dong Thap Department of Industry, said that most enterprises had a small size, so they were incapable of exporting their products directly. As a result, they suffer losses in price and profit as they have to send their products to intermediary enterprises. The export markets of Dong Thap pottery products include the UK, Denmark, Spain, France, the Netherlands and some European countries. They so far have been exported via enterprises in Binh Duong province. So far, only two companies, including Duc Lap and Kim Thach have been able to sell their products directly to the foreign markets but with a small volume. In fact, intermediary enterprises enjoy between 20 and 30 per cent of value of each order, resulting in a fall in revenues and profits of pottery making enterprises.
Dong Thap province is reported to have set a target that by 2010, local pottery making establishments will renew their burning technology to minimise environmental pollution. Accordingly, enterprises will apply new burning technology, using gas-run kilns, rice husk-run tunnels and Hoffman kilns. This is also an opportunity for tile and brick production establishment in Chau Thanh district and Sa Dec town to shift into fine art pottery production for export. Also, the province has set a target of a growth rate of between 30 and 40 per cent per year for its pottery industry, bringing its export turnover from US$1.5 million to US$10 million in 2010 and US$15 million in 2015. To that end, the Dong Thap Department of Industry has proposed the province to increase its investment capital to VND 50 billion in 2010 and VND 75 billion on 2015. Of the figure, ten per cent comes from the State budget in order to help site clearance in industrial complexes, new technology research and application, fair and exhibition organisation, equipment renewal and worker training.
Good news for local fine art pottery establishments is that the results of recent exploration shows that Dong Thap has various clay sources with a total reserve of over 38.1 million cubic metres in eight towns and districts. The issue is how to exploit the resource suitably and organise production to minimise environmental pollution, as well as improve the quality, so each pottery product has high export value.
Hoa Binh