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Jun 23, 2024 / 13:19

Cultural industries essential in Hanoi’s development strategy

Cultural industries help preserve and promote national cultural identity, fostering national pride and confidence in international integration.

Hanoi recognizes the value of the cultural industries and positions it as a key economic sector in the city's development strategy.

 Hanoi Autumn Festival 2023. Photo: Pham Hung/The Hanoi Times
Strengthening the nation’s soft power
The development of cultural industries is a crucial direction for Hanoi. First, it provides clear economic benefits by creating new job opportunities and driving economic growth. They help preserve and promote national cultural identity, fostering national pride and confidence in international integration, and stimulating creativity and innovation. Moreover, it is a vital component in strengthening a nation's soft power. In today's world, a country's influence extends beyond military and economic advantages to include its distinctive culture and the creative vitality of its community.

Hanoi boasts significant potential in developing its cultural industries, supported by its strategic geographical location and robust transportation infrastructure, including Noi Bai International Airport.

As Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi serves as a key hub for international cultural exchanges, attracting global artists and events supported by diplomatic visits. Its economic stature has led to modern amenities such as hotels, theaters, and recreational facilities, ideal for large-scale performances and events.

Rich in history and cultural diversity, Hanoi offers attractions such as the Old Quarter, craft villages, and cultural festivals that appeal to international audiences and organizers alike. Central to this development has been the proactive leadership of Hanoi’s authorities, as evidenced by Resolution No. 09-NQ/TU, outlining strategic plans for the cultural industries until 2045. This commitment creates a nurturing environment for cultural and artistic endeavors, encouraging creativity and supporting local cultural brands.

To develop Hanoi's cultural industries, it is essential to focus on specific areas to ensure targeted investments that create highlights and amplify their impact on other economic and social fields. Overall, Hanoi has shown interest in several areas, including music, cinema, performing arts, fine arts, cuisine, cultural tourism, fashion, and handicrafts.

 Kenny G on The Huc Bridge to Ngoc Son Temple. 

For example, in music, Hanoi boasts a diverse array of genres, including folk, traditional, and modern music. The city has produced many renowned musicians and iconic songs, contributing to Hanoi's unique musical brand. Events like the Monsoon Music Festival and recent concerts by international artists such as BlackPink have helped promote Hanoi’s image and reputation on the international music map, reinforcing recognition of Hanoi as a UNESCO Creative City.

On the film front, Hanoi hosts the Hanoi International Film Festival (HANIFF) and has numerous cinemas providing platforms for filmmakers and actors to produce independent films, documentaries, and television series. The city's beautiful and varied landscapes, from the Old Quarter and famous landmarks to the picturesque outskirts, offer considerable potential for film production and tourism promotion. Recent events, such as Kenny G filming his music video "Going Home" in Hanoi, highlight this potential.

Beyond the mentioned industries, Hanoi should also encourage the development of other creative industries such as design, software, entertainment games, and advertising. The city should facilitate and support the establishment of creative spaces, start-up companies, and individuals to explore and develop their potential in these fields.

Policy incentives required

To develop the cultural and creative industries in Hanoi, it is crucial to implement specific mechanisms, policies, and even special regulations tailored to this important sector.

Hanoi could allocate part of its annual budget to support cultural activities, including direct funding of projects and the creation of grant funds. Special sponsorship programs should also be introduced to foster artistic projects, exhibitions, and performances, with stringent criteria for applicants.

  The Hanoi Creative Design Festival 2023. Photo: Huy Pham/The Hanoi Times

The city may seek to foster public-private partnerships in culture through amendments to the Capital Law, encouraging collaboration with businesses, non-profits, and cultural enthusiasts for event sponsorship. Partners may provide financial aid, venues, equipment, and advertising. Additionally, Hanoi should explore funding avenues by partnering with international organizations and local governments to enhance cultural exchanges.

Tax incentives tailored to cultural institutions, such as reductions or exemptions, should be under-considered, subject to approval by the National Assembly to stimulate cultural activities while safeguarding local finances.

Establishing arts and cultural support funds sourced from the local budget and corporate contributions could sponsor creative projects, artworks, and performances.

Meanwhile, the local government may consider strengthening the cultural industries' workforce through training programs. Improving cultural infrastructure like theaters, museums, and libraries is a priority to attract audiences and tourists, while robust intellectual property protection policies will encourage creativity and investment in Hanoi's cultural sector.

Hanoi also needs to create a business-friendly environment for cultural companies. 

These mechanisms create a supportive environment and encourage the development of the cultural industries in Hanoi, attracting investment, sponsorship, and talent development in this sector.

Furthermore, Hanoi should enhance international cooperation by aligning with UNESCO's Creative Cities network. This includes promoting through international fairs, exhibitions, cultural events, and artistic initiatives in Hanoi. The city should create attractive incentives to draw international artists and producers. Additionally, expanding artist exchanges with global partners will facilitate collaborations and performances. Simultaneously, supporting local artists' participation in international programs is crucial.

Bui Hoai Son, Member of the National Assembly's Culture and Education Committee

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