Modest investment

The cultural and creative industries are some of the fastest-growing industries in the world and are expected to contribute up to 10% of global GDP by 2030. Many countries recognize the increasingly important role of creative culture in the post-industrial economy, driving sustainable development.

In Vietnam, the Party and State have implemented guidelines, policies, and laws to develop culture and cultural industries. In a resolution adopted in 2014, the Party Central Committee emphasized the need to build a healthy cultural market, promote the development of cultural industries, and strengthen the dissemination of Vietnamese culture. The 13th National Party Congress in 2021 also identified the urgent task of developing cultural industries and cultural services by leveraging the soft power of Vietnamese culture.

In September 2016, the Government approved a national strategy for developing Vietnamese cultural industries until 2020, with a vision towards 2030. Five years later, the 12 cultural industries identified in the strategy generated over US$8 billion in revenue, equivalent to 3.61% of the country’s GDP. These figures indicate that there is still ample potential for the development of cultural industries, despite the challenges ahead.

Elsewhere, the creative industries contributed over GBP115 billion to the UK economy in 2019, equivalent to 5.9% of its GDP. China’s cultural industries also experienced average annual growth of 18.9% between 2005 and 2018, surpassing its annual GDP growth rate of 7.9%.

Blackpink girls of the Republic of Korea steal the show in Hanoi during their Vietnam tour in July 2023

The successful development of cultural industries in the Republic of Korea is viewed as a success story. The country has undergone a significant change in cultural management, with increased cooperation between the Government and the private sector. The cultural policy now caters to the diverse tastes of all social classes, moving away from the top-down approach. Through the public-private partnership model, the Korean economy has benefited from exporting cultural products worldwide, as seen in the popularity of Korean films and music.

However, Vietnam lags behind other countries in the region and globally in terms of developing cultural industries. In this context, learning from international experiences becomes extremely necessary.

What should be done?

Dr. Nguyen Phuong Hoa, head of the International Cooperation Department (Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism), emphasizes that the cultural policy now focuses on the audience and their preferences, compared to the previous focus on artists. The stages of distribution and consumption are also important considerations.

The State should promote the public-private partnership model and create a supportive ecosystem for cultural industries. This includes providing firms with access to necessary support and assistance, including financial resources, to undertake ambitious projects.

The Hanoi International Film Festival (HANIFF) held since 2010 has created the chance for film producers to share experience and expand cooperation in the cinematography industry

Furthermore, strategies for developing cultural and creative industries should be closely integrated with other support strategies, such as those for small and medium-sized enterprises and vocational training. These strategies should be part of the national socio-economic development plan.

Hoa also emphasizes the importance of digital transformation and leveraging the opportunities of e-commerce, the digital economy, and digital society in developing cultural industries.

Lastly, she highlights the significance of enhancing international cooperation to strengthen cultural soft power and expand export markets for cultural products and services.

In order to achieve these goals, she suggests that Vietnam continues to participate in reputable regional and international cultural and artistic events. Additionally, the country should proactively host international-scale events to showcase high-quality Vietnamese cultural products, thereby building national brand products for export.