Wed, Sep 05, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Center helping Honduras develop pottery industry

‘ONE TOWN, ONE PRODUCT’:After aiding communities like Yingge and Sanyi, the center is now assisting Valle de Angeles in Honduras to develop a niche industry

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan has been helping Honduras develop its pottery industry under a “one town, one product” project in Valle de Angeles, project operator Corporate Synergy Development Center said.

Launched in the second half of last year, the project aims to help create a niche industry in Valle de Angeles and expand the use of pottery in daily life, the center said.

“In addition to being works of art, pottery can be used as pots, bowls, cups and other kitchenware,” a staff member at the center said. “The program also involves other industries related to pottery.”

Over the years, the center, commissioned by the Taiwanese government, has helped many communities around Taiwan develop signature products as tourist attractions. Under the “one town, one product” project, the center has helped boost the pottery industry in Yingge (鶯歌), New Taipei City (新北市), and the wood-carving industry in Sanyi Township (三義), Miaoli County.

Located in northern Taiwan, Yingge is a well-known tourist town that offers a range of pottery products, from vases and ocarinas to teapots and tableware, produced at hundreds of pottery factories.

Sanyi, also in the north, is famous for its wood-carving industry, which produces artistic pieces such as statues of Taiwanese folk deities.

Aiming to replicate the success of the “one town, one product” project, Honduras and Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding last year to introduce a similar program in Valle de Angeles for two years, the center said.

Valle de Angeles residents have been making works of art from clay for decades, but the products tend to be fragile, the center said.

To address the problem, a Taiwanese consulting crew worked to improve the quality of the kilns used for firing pottery, it said.

Another goal of the project is to expand the use of pottery products, it said.

For example, ceramic coffee cups can become a specialty of Valle de Angeles, especially as Honduras is a major coffee producer in Central America, the center said.

Making products with an angel theme to reflect the name of the town, which means “valley of angels,” could be another specialty, the center said.

The Taiwan-Honduras project is the first foreign aid program offered by Taiwan to a diplomatic ally to focus on the development of a niche industry.

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