Republic of Korea and ASEAN join forces for dynamic creative sectors
Culture Ministers from the Republic of Korea and 10 Southeast Asian nations gathered on 23-24 October in Gwangju, Korea at the 2019 Special Meeting of the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts. At the end of wide-ranging discussions, the joint statement called for strengthening cultural exchanges and cooperation between future generations of ASEAN and the Republic of Korea.
“I hope that the discussion will establish a foothold for a future community between the Republic of Korea and ASEAN,” said Park Yang-woo, the Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Over the past decades, ASEAN has emerged as an important pillar in the global cultural and creative industries. According to UNCTAD, ASEAN+3 (ASEAN and China, Japan and Republic of Korea) leads the global market share of creative goods exportation at 39.6%, followed by the 27-member European Union at 32.7% (figures from 2002-2015).
During the meeting, the participating ministers agreed to promote the shared spirit of respect for cultural diversity and expressions in the region, and reiterated their support for joint trainings and initiatives in order to elevate the level of creative industry management and cultural governance.
At the meeting, the Republic of Korea also announced the plan to hold the UNESCO ASEAN-ROK Cultural policymakers Workshop in 2020 and invited the ASEAN member states’ participation to enhance cooperation opportunities on policy areas related to creativity and the diversity of cultural expressions. The training will address the need for regional cultural policy network, a gap highlighted during the Capacity Development Programme on UNESCO’s 2005 Convention for mid-career cultural professionals from Asia and Pacific regions (10-15 June 2018).
The Republic of Korea has invested in creative sector in developing countries through the UNESCO-Korea Funds-In-Trust for over a decade and is a current member of the Intergovernmental Committee the UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005). ASEAN has hosted a regional cultural minister’s dialogue with Republic of Korea, China and Japan since 2010 and a separate meeting with the Republic of Korea since 2014. The next meeting of ASEAN cultural ministers with Korean Culture Ministers will be held in Cambodia in 2020.