Organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the event featured 700 booths of enterprises from 40 provinces and cities nationwide. They brought together businesses from 15 countries and territories, including Japan, the Netherlands, India, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Cambodia, Kenya, Afghanistan, Australia, Madagascar, Nepal and Russia. Addressing the opening ceremony, Nguyen Minh Tien, director of the Department for Economic Cooperation and Chief of the National Coordination Office of National Target Programme on New Rural Development said the events look to advertise standout new handicraft products and souvenirs made by handicraft villages in the country. They provide an important platform for promoting trade with a view to improving the competitiveness of handicraft villages’ products and spurring production and domestic and overseas sale, he said. Handicraft production earned over US$2 billion in export value and generated jobs for nearly 1.5 million rural labourers in 2018. Approved by the Government, the OCOP programme has been carried out efficiently across the country. The OCOP International Trade Fair and Lifestyle Vietnam 2019 will last until April 20. They are expected to welcome over 1,600 foreign customers from 47 countries and territories.