Enhancing culture a foundation for economic development: conference
The “Outline of Vietnamese Culture” – the first platform on culture launched by the Communist Party of Việt Nam – serves as a spiritual foundation and an impetus for economic development of the country, experts said at a national conference held in Hà Nội on Monday.
The document was compiled by the then Party General Secretary Trường Chinh and approved at a meeting of the Party Central Committee’s Standing Board in February 1943 held in Đông Anh District, Hà Nội.
The conference, hosted by the Party Central Committee’s Publicity and Education Department, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Central Council of Theoretical Studies and the Hồ Chí Minh National Academy of Politics, gathered over 170 pieces of writing from agencies, cultural managers, scientists and cultural workers throughout the nation.
Addressing the conference, Nguyễn Xuân Thắng, a member of the Political Bureau, director of the academy and chairman of the council, said the event aims to praise and clarify the historical, political and scientific value of the outline as well as its position.
“Through a thousand-year history, our people have formed a Vietnamese culture with a rich identity bearing the people’s quality, morality, wisdom, and bravery,” he stressed.
“Vietnamese culture has become the core fulcrum to create a great, long-lasting strength of the people in the process to fight against invaders to gain national independence, sovereignty of the motherland.”
Thắng said that the Outline expressed a strategic vision and ideology of the Party on the role and importance of culture in the revolutionary cause of the Party and people.
“Together with the scientific theory of Marxism, the Outline has contained Hồ Chí Minh ideology through practical policies in culture through revolutionary climaxes since the Party was established in 1930,” he said. “The Outline has created a unity in awareness and cultural ideology for people, especially for intellectuals and artists. It has helped encouraged nationalism, sacrifice for revolution, which has become a torch lighting the development of new culture.”
Thắng stressed that the Outline has formed immortal truth like: “Culture should light the way for people to go. Culture guides people to maintain independence, self-strength, and self-control. The same as Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng stressed at the National Culture Conference in 2021: 'If culture remains, the people remain; otherwise, there will be no more Vietnamese people. We should establish a new culture that takes people’s happiness as a mission, develop economy and culture in order to constantly improve people’s life'.”
In his report at the conference, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Văn Hùng highlighted that the contents of the Outline have proved its practical value over the past 80 years.
“When it was drafted, the Outline has taken people as the centre as creative subject,” he said. “Artists and writers have taken a key role in developing culture, which means improving people’s capabilities and culture are two attached targets that cannot be separated.”
“The awareness of connecting culture in socio-economic development has been improved,” he added. “The culture industry contributed some 3.61 per cent of GDP in 2018.”
Văn Hùng proposed that in the next few years, principles of the Outline should be applied to optimise power sources for developing culture, completing people’s capabilities through solutions to improve the legal system and policies.
The culture sector should further implement the National Culture Programme and establish the Strategy to Develop Cultural Industries by 2030, with a vision of 2045, in which the focus should be enhancing competitiveness and integration ability of the cultural market; promoting international exchange to spread Vietnamese culture’s values; enhancing human resources in culture and art; and pushing research in science and technology.
The conference heard many speeches confirming the value of the outline and the diverse ways of applying the Outline to the present era and plans for the future.
In his speech on the role and trend of digital transformation in developing culture and improving people’s capabilities, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng stressed that in order to develop culture, there should be a strong cultural industry and market.
“Việt Nam’s cultural industry will be more developed when there are more people joining in creating culture, which is more feasible as there are many digital tools for creation. Besides available platforms, Việt Nam has offered one more online trading platform specialising in cultural products."
According to Phan Ngọc Thọ, deputy secretary of Thừa Thiên Huế’s Party Committee, local authorities and people have paid attention to culture and have tried their best to make culture a spiritual foundation of society, and both a target and source of power for socio-economic development.
“Under the guideline of the Outline, the authorities have been combining preservation and sustainable development to protect and spread the values of heritage sites, especially the ones recognised by UNESCO,” he said.
Nguyễn Trọng Nghĩa, secretary of the PCC and head of the PCC's Publicity and Education Department, said: “This conference, together with research and historic documents once more confirmed the great and comprehensive value of the Outline to our people’s cause under the guideline of the Party.”
Valuable photos displayed
At the same venue, a photo exhibition to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Outline of Vietnamese Culture was held.
As many as 80 valuable historical photos were displayed.
The first part mostly includes black and white photos, which were taken and kept since 1945.
A photo of the whole original Outline printed in the first issue of the Tiên Phong (Vanguard) newspaper (published in November 1945); a photo of the first Culture Conference in 1946; and photos of President Hồ Chí Minh and other leaders with artists and writers are among the highlights.
The second part features achievements in preserving cultural heritage like the xòe dance of the Thái ethnics and the art of pottery of the Chăm ethnic group.
There are also various images of present domestic culture and sports events like the 31st SEA Games, and national conference titled "The Systems of National Values, Cultural Values, Family Values and the Vietnamese Human Standard Values in the New Era".