Cultural industries should be placed in the right position, says expert

Wednesday, 2019-10-23 16:42:03
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Lo Lo people in Ha Giang Province perform a dance. (Photo: NDO/Ngoc Lien)
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NDO – Having been identified as an area with great potential to the national economic structure, the Vietnamese cultural industry has recorded positive movements but still requires further efforts to boost the sector’s strategic development.

Director of the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies, Assoc. Prof., Dr. Bui Hoai Son, has shared with Nhan Dan Weekend on the solutions to clearing bottlenecks for the cultural industry in Vietnam.

The cultural industry generates significant revenue for many countries, and the dividends are created in a sustainable manner, without environmental pollution, without huge costs in human resources and other conditions. For that reason, Son said that if Vietnam focuses on the development of cultural industries, it would change its economic structure in a positive way. “Instead of focusing on making products that bring about negative environmental consequences and consume non-renewable resources, we can develop our nation with products made of human creativity,” he said.

Culture and arts play a very important role in stimulating human creativity. Vietnam is developing towards being a start-up nation, in which the core of start-ups is creativity, and culture is capable of producing creativity. “That is one of the fundamental reasons for us to pay more attention to the development of cultural industries”, Son added.

He stressed that it is a very convenient time for Vietnam to boost cultural industries amidst nations around the world having shifted their priorities from heavy industrial production and manufacturing, which causes environmental pollution and negatively affects the country's sustainable development, towards creative economy, digital economy and cultural industries, to create green and sustainable growth.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Bui Hoai Son, the director of the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies. (Photo: NDO/Luan Vu)

Vietnam is among the countries that should soon formulate strategies for developing cultural industries. On September 8, 2016, the Government issued a strategy for the development of cultural industries by 2020, with a vision to 2030. It set up the agency in charge of this issue, which is the Cultural Industry Management Office, under the Copyright Office of Vietnam. Additionally, Vietnam has also built some statistical indicators. “Determining statistical indicators of these sectors helps to visualise the resources contributing to society, as well as to identify the real situation from which to develop support policies,” said Son.

After three years, happily, the movements are actually somewhat faster and more vivid than the speed of policy formation, Son stated, quoting the figures from 2016, in which there were about 60 creative hubs nationwide. That number reached 140 in 2018. Creative hubs are an indication of a nation's creativity. “People become aware of how they could make money from culture, such as with the story of the Golden Bridge in Da Nang,” he said.

However, more efforts are required to remove bottlenecks and promote the development of cultural industries in Vietnam in the near future. “At first, we must bring the spirit of the strategy for development of cultural industries by 2020, with a vision to 2030, into practice. It is necessary to raise the public awareness on the appropriate position and role of cultural industries in the national development, from which to take concrete actions,” Son suggested.

In addition, some regulations need to be adjusted for the development of cultural industries, such as those that still identify creative hubs as a social enterprise model. Besides, it is necessary to develop preferential policies on taxes and land use for this field, as well as to adopt the donation and sponsorship law, which is expected to create new impetus for cultural development.

“We also need a branding policy for Vietnamese artists and cultural products. In order to do so, it is necessary to focus on hosting international cultural events in Vietnam and making favourable conditions for Vietnamese artists to participate in international events, thus contributing to increasing the quality and durability of existing events,” Son proposed.

In addition, he also suggested that attention should be paid to changing the creative education programmes in schools, in order to train creative human resources suitable for today’s society.