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Viet Nam: Investing in cultural industries to bolster the economy
In Viet Nam, cultural managers and policy makers are forming an alliance to strengthen cultural industries. There has been a series of projects focusing on the development of culture and creative industries across the country, including projects led by the Asia Europe Foundation and the British Council.
The Danish Embassy funded a mapping exercise measuring the impact of creative expressions on the national economy and their potential for sustainable development. Finally two workshops were recently organized by UNESCO in Hanoi which discussed the development of Vietnamese cultural industries and the need to create an environment that encourages private investment.
Aim of the mission
These ongoing actions are complemented by the development of financial mechanisms and the implementation of legal frameworks supported through this technical assistance programme to foster partnerships for the funding of cultural industries and their activities. The experts selected by Viet Nam were William Codjo (Benin) and Tom Fleming (United Kingdom). Their input will help increase the cultural industries' contribution to the national economy and to improve Vietnam's regional and international competitiveness.
During their first visit in April 2012, the experts took part in numerous meetings and seminars with both public and private sector representatives, from national experts, policy makers, and administrators to cultural industry managers and investors. This enabled them to assess the current financing and investment climate for cultural industries in the country. This work served as the grounding for a first outline of a new mechanism and legal framework encouraging the financing of cultural industries in Viet Nam, as well as of action plans to accompany them.
This preparatory work enabled the experts to plan their second country visit in July 2012, which translated their preparatory work into concrete policy proposals. A series of meetings with cultural businesses, notably in Ho Chi Minh, as well as exchanges with strategic partners not only lead to the refinement of the legal framework and action plans, but also to the development of a set of recommendations that will form the basis for a national cultural industries strategy. This work was presented to numerous stakeholders during a final workshop, and was approved with enthusiasm. The resulting work was finally handed over to senior ministerial representatives, to maintain the momentum accumulated during the mission.
The collaborative work carried out during this mission went beyond its objectives: from a focus on funding, it provided the basis for a national Creative Industries Strategy. This is the first major attempt to develop a more coherent approach to national policy and regulation in the country. The resulting holistic approach to the cultural industries in Viet Nam will help to increase investment in this sector and to position the country as a leading creative economy for South-East Asia.
The follow-up mission took place from 15 to 22 September and enabled Mr Tom Fleming, in collaboration with the national team, to prepare a first draft of the National Strategy for the Cultural Industries in Viet Nam. During the mission, the expert offered comprehensive technical assistance and intensive coaching to VICAS through a daily workshop programme, followed by writing and editing sessions. It also helped additional partners to meet, providing them with useful advices on strategic development opportunities. The launch of the Strategy took place In December 2013 during the Asia-Europe Foundation conference in Hanoi, including a partnership meeting of donor agencies with a view to jointly identify the best ways of implementing elements of the Strategy.