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Wednesday, 03 February 2016 10:03
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Cultural industries and national sustainable development

(LLCT) - Cultural industries are perceived in theory and dealt with in practice in the same way. They aim to achieve humanity and people’s advancement.

1. Reasons for developing cultural industries

People are considered as the most important value of all cultural values. Development or perfection of personality is the ultimate goal that the cultural development is to achieve. The entire culture as well as its components including content and form all aim to attain that goal: advancing people and perfecting their personality.

Cultural industries are perceived in theory and dealt with in practice in the same way. They aim to achieve humanity and people’s advancement.

In Vietnam, cultural industries are a new issue not only in cultural theories but also in economic management theories and economic and cultural development.

The Resolution of the 9th plenum of the Party Central Committee (11th tenure) identified the development of cultural industries as one of the five main objectives of the building and development of Vietnamese culture and people in the decades to come. It called for establishment of “a healthy cultural market, development of cultural industries and promotion of Vietnamese culture”.

To that end, the Resolution set development of cultural industries and establishment and perfection of a cultural market as one of six tasks that needed to be carried out. It pointed out that cultural industries should aim to make use of the potential and unique values of Vietnamese culture. The Party encouraged export of cultural products as a way to promote Vietnamese culture overseas. In order to do that, there had to be mechanisms encouraging investment in infrastructure, equipment and advanced technologies so as to improve the quality of cultural products. Businesses in culture, literature, arts, sport and tourism should be encouraged to make use of social resources for their development.

For the development of cultural industries, the Resolution also pointed out the need to innovate or perfect existing mechanisms and create a favorable legal climate for the establishment and development of a cultural market and cultural industries.

That would be the basis for awareness of cultural industries in relation to culture and sustainable development. Such industries would be immediately beneficial to the development of Vietnam and its people in the time of international integration.

Cultural industries are considered as one of the most specialized ones because their products are culture and they create such products through industrial processes.

Cultural industries therefore belong to both economic and cultural fields. This is where the impact of the interrelationship between economics and culture is felt most keenly. The products of cultural industries can meet consumers’ physical and spiritual demands which are diversified.                                 

Cultural industries are not only profit-making ones, but also responsible for cultural, aesthetic, moral education, awareness raising, personality training and lifestyle practice. Once cultural products are consumed, demands for cultural enjoyment will be stimulated, cultured ways of life nurtured and societies civilized and cultural industries will make an important contribution to economic development and national enrichment, especially during the era of economic and cultural integration.

2. Developing cultural industries in the context of national sustainable development: Issues and solutions 

As the development of cultural industries has been set as one of the goals and tasks of Vietnam’s cultural strategies, it is necessary to be clearly aware of influencing factors, positive and negative alike, as follows.

The development of cultural industries is to happen in relation to the acceleration of national industrialization and modernization and development of the knowledge economy. This is a positive effect. The industrialization and modernization itself is a socio-economic development process, which aims to vigorously develop the market economy and prepare the country for the knowledge economy era.

For effective international integration, the market economy must be a modern one based on the power of science and advanced technology, which the country is to acquire and use to increase productivity and the quality and efficiency of domestic production and business, improve national strength and competitiveness and deal with the relationship between growth rates and growth quality. In the process, economic goals are to be linked to social ones and social development is to serve people’s lives.

Of the social transformations caused by economic development, the most visible are those related to social relations, i.e. social division and stratification, social structure and social issues. The trend towards a growing size of the middle class is becoming increasingly obvious. Demands and living standards have been on the rise, particularly in urban areas and amongst business people, intellectuals and the young. Rural areas have been undergoing urbanization while parts of the population have become poor or disadvantaged. Social equality, especially equal opportunities of development, requires integration of economic policies with social ones. Cultural industries play a certain role in the satisfaction of that requirement.

Industrialization and modernization is also an economic-cultural process. This is the inevitable meeting point between development of cultural industries and acceleration of industrialization. The industrialness of a country is measured against various criteria including development indices such as the cultural development index.    

This index is receiving increasing attention nowadays. Investment in cultural industries keeps growing; so does their contribution to national incomes.

Vietnam is quite at an advantage when it comes to development of cultural industries although this advantage remains largely a potential one. There must be large investment including one from overseas in the tourism industry and other cultural services.

However, the development of cultural industries is faced with a few difficulties or obstacles relating to public awareness, leadership and management thinking, capacity and ways of life. Another problem is the lack of consistency between resource management institutions, policies and mechanisms and the ways resources are allocated for the development of industries, occupations and regions. Because cultural industries are a new concept, Vietnam has little experience in these fields and lacks a good number of conditions for the development of culture and cultural industries. Such conditions include a cultural environment, a cultural market, cultural institutions and high-quality human resources. International cooperation in development of cultural industries in Vietnam is yet another new issue because the country has been slow in adapting its awareness or finding ways or mechanisms for such cooperation.

Only when these advantages and disadvantages are understood is it possible to find solutions which are proactive, active, consistent, practical and effective enough to carry out tasks of developing cultural industries in accordance with the general strategy for building and developing culture and people described in the Resolution by the 9th plenum of the 11th Party Central Committee and with the Government’s action program in this important area.

Therefore, the following measures should be taken.

Raising the awareness of cultural industries not only among business people and cultural service providers but also among leaders, managers and policy makers. On a larger scale, it is necessary to develop a correct, wholesome understanding of cultural industries amongst the general society and entire population.

Special emphasis is to be placed on the education of values and healthyways of life and promotion of social morality in relation to the production, consumption and advertising of cultural products, especially in the context of information explosion, development of information technology and establishment of information societies.

In addition to the establishment of a cultural environment or building and development of culture in general, it is essential to create a socio-economic climate with cultural norms for the sake of the development of cultural industries. This is to meet domestic demands for cultural products and export them, thereby encouraging economic growth and increasing the country’s economic power.

Creating a market for cultural products with emphasis on those products which the country is good at producing or which promise great sale. Key industries and products which could be used to increase economic efficiency and promote traditional cultural values include tourism, cinema, music, the theater, performing arts and traditional arts. Tangible and intangible cultural heritage should also be made use of in the process. Vietnam’s unique literature and arts need to be developed and promoted overseas, i.e. in the region and the rest of the world. To that end, there must be strategies for the development, promotion and preservation of such heritage. Large, focused investment would be needed to implement such strategies. Development of a cultural market is key to the expansion of cultural industries and a contributing factor to the perfection of the socialist-oriented market economy in the country.

Innovating and perfecting cultural institutions and those needed for the development of cultural industries, especially laws and policies. At the same time, a legal framework for such development is to be created in order to improve the usefulness and effectiveness of state management tools as to culture and cultural industries.

Training and retraining cultural personnel and human resources for the development of cultural industries. This is to happen simultaneously as the implementation of mechanisms or policies aimed at encouraging creativity amongst experts, managers, business people and enterprises in cultural industries, especially those working in large cities and municipal areas with favorable conditions for development.

Special attention is to be given to learning from other countries’ experience and intensifying international cooperation in the development of cultural industries. 


Prof., Dr. Hoang Chi Bao

Central Theoretical Council

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