On 24 April 2019: A British Council co-organised symposium on the Development of the Cultural Industries in Vietnam took place at the Office of the National Assembly of Vietnam, co-chaired by Ms Hoang Thi Hoa, Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly's Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children (CCEYC). The symposium, held in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the CCEYC. Members of the National Assembly along with representatives from the European Union (EU) delegation in Vietnam, Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies, national and international experts and representatives of cultural and creative hubs of Vietnam also attended.
As part of the Cultural and Creative Hubs (CCH) Vietnam project, this was the second symposium following one on the roles of cultural and creative hubs in the creative economy of Vietnam. This most recent symposium focused on unlocking opportunities for long-term information exchange and policy dialogue between cultural and creative hubs with those working in legislative bodies in Vietnam, influential people in the field of culture and creativity in Vietnam, especially the founders and managers of cultural and creative hubs.
At the symposium, participants were introduced with an overview of the cultural and creative industries, shared their research information as well as observations on the cultural industry in Vietnam and Europe conducted by the British Council and independent research units. The concepts of cultural industry and the role of cultural and creative hubs – who they are, what they have been doing… were also better understood. The voices from a number of cultural and creative hubs’ leaders also showed a diverse picture of the CCH, an important foundation in promoting the general development of the cultural and arts sector in Vietnam.
Speaking at the symposium, Ms Hoang Thi Hoa affirmed that Vietnam had great potential to develop the cultural industry. According to Ms Hoa, Vietnam has an ideal geographical position and climate with more than 3000km of coastline. “It also possesses a large area of biosphere and nature. And more importantly, Vietnam has a rich cultural tradition, with more than 8000 festivals and cultural and historical relics. Vietnamese people are creative and have strong willpower...”, she said. Vietnam is in the golden population period with a talented young generation. However, we need solutions on how to connect and create conditions for creative talents to bring advantages to the country, to the creative industry. In Vietnam, creative industry is still new, and it is certain that pioneers will always face certain difficulties, including the lack of an appropriate legal framework to facilitate development. This is also a desire from representatives of cultural and creative hubs at the symposium, how to have the open mechanism and policies to create conditions and support the active CCH to develop.
The EU-funded Cultural and Creative Hubs Vietnam project is implemented by the British Council in partnership with experts from Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies during 2018–2021, to support the development of the CCH network in Vietnam. Through the symposium, Ms Donna McGowan, Country Director of the British Council Vietnam, said this would be the first steps in a long-term cooperation between the CCH Project and CCEYC. She believed there would be more dialogues to support the development of Vietnam's culture and creative sector more effectively.
Following the footsteps of other countries, Vietnam will have lots of advantages and we can learn the lessons from the failures of those countries. This is an important thing that helps us shorten the process and help develop our cultural and creative industries. Noting the content and presentations of delegates from the UK at the symposium, Ms Hoa appreciated the support of international organisations such as the British Council and EU. She stated that the proposals and policy recommendations from the partners were very relevant and the four main contents that the committee would commit in the future. These recommendations include changing the perception of the cultural industry, its position and role of culture; the necessity to create a mechanism and create opportunities for legal entities to be businesses, collectives or individuals in the field of culture and creativity to operate and develop; the necessity to innovate management in creative activities, create conditions for creativity; and finally the necessity to focus on human resources which involves training, creating a role to promote learning creativity as well as a future mechanism.