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How can cultural industries achieve sustainable development?

(People's Daily Overseas Edition)

08:18, May 22, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

Fujian's cultural industries have been growing more than 30 percent each year for three consecutive years, and the province ranked second in China in imports and exports of cultural products in 2011.

Fujian used to be relatively isolated due to inconvenient traffic, but has seen rapid development in its cultural industries in recent years thanks to the national strategy of building an economic zone on the western side of the Taiwan Strait as well as local governments' great efforts.

Platforms are necessary conditions for introducing local culture. The province has carried out a series of cultural exhibitions on art, copyright and creative industries, cultural products, tea, and flowers in recent years, which are like expressways radiating in all directions. These "cross-strait" exhibitions are attracting a growing number of visitors and businesspeople from both home and abroad.

The province has also held some major cultural exchange activities in Taiwan, including the "Light of Mazu" gala and the "Fujian Culture in Taiwan" event. The annual "Light of Mazu" gala held in Taiwan has become a grand event for local believers of the folk goddess Mazu.

Fujian has introduced a series of preferential fiscal, financial, taxation, and credit policies to support the overseas expansion of local cultural enterprises. Specifically, the province has introduced export tax rebates on cultural products, provided special rewards for cultural projects that have won international prizes, subsidized the animation industry expanding internationally, and provided credit support to major cultural projects.

These policies have been "effective" enough to bring a great leap forward for Fujian's cultural industries. However, we need to look further at what characteristics the province's cultural industries should have to achieve sustainable development. Will Fujian be able to maintain its lead in this sector if other provinces also make great efforts to promote their own cultural industries?

Unique features are the precondition for the "going out" of culture. What are the unique features of Fujian's cultural products then?

The answer lies in the province's local culture. It should dig deep into its traditional culture to make its cultural products popular in China and even the world. Fujian's cultural industries, including the tourism, exhibitions, and arts and crafts industries, naturally have traditional cultural elements, and the province should make full of its traditional culture.

The animation, exhibitions, advertising, and mobile multimedia industries are more closely linked to modern technologies, but the products of these industries should also have their own unique features.

In this regard, Fujian can learn from Taiwan. They are close neighbors separated merely by a strip of waters, and have the same cultural origin. Taiwan's cultural and creative industries have gained a firm international foothold mainly because Taiwanese are very good at developing creative cultural products based on traditional culture. Culture is raw material, and creativeness is the catalyst. The combination of the two will add magic effects to cultural products.

Read the Chinese version: 文化如何远行

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