OPINION: No takers for products made by soldiers

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Some products for use in the kitchen, made by army personnel, had no takers at the annual military market which ended in Vientiane yesterday, although many people said they appreciated the quality of the products.

One reason for people not making purchases is that perhaps they were over-supplied and some customers doubted their usefulness.

In my opinion, some people bought products just to show their appreciation of the work of the army units that make household goods, and to help supplement the income of the Lao People’s Army.

The products on sale at the fair to which I refer were butchers’ knives, cooking pots, axes, spades and folding beds.

I think the public should think more carefully before rejecting these items. The lack of interest on the part of shoppers is bound to be dispiriting for the small family businesses that make these wares.

The items were made at the army’s Laos-Vietnam Factory and were not expensive.

The sale of these goods should have been a heartening sight for visitors to the event and those looking to snap up a bargain, as they cannot be found on the open market, only at special events. It could have been a perfect opportunity to buy products made by army personnel.

The army’s annual market took place at the That Luang esplanade, opposite the Military Museum, and is part of activities being held to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Lao People’s Army on January 20.

A total of 43 military units participated in the event, with their stalls selling kitchen utensils and tools such as spades and axes. The grand shopping opportunity took place from January 4-9.

Captain Lamgeun Vonetheva, who was selling knives, cooking pots, axes, spades and folding beds, told Vientiane Times that sometimes products made by military personnel are displayed and put on sale at other venues such as Lao-ITECC.

But why these products are not sold on the open market one will perhaps never know.

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