Ha Tay is a province which is well known for its hundred of trades. Handicraft and art products of trade villages in the province have comparative advantage in exporting to foreign markets. The advantages of trade villages in Ha Tay province have manifested all comparative advantages of trade villages in Vietnam, including: Firstly, abundant and skilful workers; Secondly, the products have unique and traditional cultural features such as Van Phuc silk, Chuong conical hats, Vac handy fans, Chuyen My shell inlaid products, Phu Vinh bamboo products, Chang Son wooden products and Son Dong wooden statues amongst others. Thirdly, some concentrated production sites have been established and local raw materials exploited, thereby producing low-cost items like guot material at Phu Tuc commune, processed agricultural products at Minh Khai, Cat Que and Duong Lieu communes and shell inlaid products at Chuyen My commune. Fourthly, some products of the trade villages in Ha Tay province have successfully penetrated major markets such as Japan, the EU and the United States.
Beside the above-mentioned comparative advantages, handicraft and art products of Ha Tay province also face competitive challenges since Vietnam has joined the WTO. For example, less creative features can be found in handicraft and art products. Most products are custom-made items. A majority of producers must export via agents and are unable to channel their goods through foreign distribution networks of imported goods. Trade promotion remains limited at both State and business levels. Manufacturers are not yet fully aware of the value of a trademark. In addition, with regard to export competition, the products of trade villages in Ha Tay province do not have a stable supply of raw materials.
Facing this reality, in order to maintain its comparative advantages of low-cost and abundant labour force, domestic raw materials and attractive traditional cultural features for the sustainable development of exports, trade villages in Ha Tay province need specific solutions to accommodate the requirements of the markets.