Thu, Mar 21, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Cultural industry urged to adapt

EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT The chairwoman of the MAC said the nation's cultural industry must market itself better if it is to survive in a more globalized environment

By Sandy Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

To avoid the fate of being eliminated by or merged with powerful foreign corporations, Taiwan's cultural industry should quickly improve its management of the nation's cultural assets, the chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said.

The concern over the issue has been prompted by Taiwan's accession to the WTO.

"Stronger marketing management is an important tool in ensuring that our cultural industry maintains a competitive edge in the 21st century's market-oriented stage," said Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), chairwoman of the MAC.

Tsai made the remarks yesterday in a speech to the 3rd Annual National Cultural Conference entitled "Impact on Taiwan's Cultural Development After WTO Accession."

With an array of speeches and symposiums, the two-day conference, sponsored by the Cabinet's Council for Cultural Affairs, sought to gather opinions and reach a common consensus on all aspects of the nation's cultural work and development.

"Compared to that of many foreign countries, such as the US, Taiwan's cultural industry is relatively small," Tsai said.

Without the support of firm marketing, Tsai cautioned that the nation's cultural industry would be challenged and unemployment would rise as local companies were forced out of business or merged.

Tsai added that the public needed to accept the fact that the notion of culture has changed.

"Many people like to think that culture shouldn't be commercialized," Tsai said.

"But unfortunately, in today's service-oriented market, it [commercialization of culture] is a trend we must accept and implement in order to ensure the existence and growth of our cultural identity."

Tsai cited the movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (臥虎藏龍), as an example.

"Over and above the performances of the movie's outstanding talent, the film was a success because of its effective marketing," she said.

Directed by Taiwanese director, Ang Lee (李安), the film not only became the first "subtitled film" to pass the US$100 million box office mark in US, it also won a number of prestigious awards, including Academy Awards for best foreign-language film, best art direction, best cinematography and best original score.

"Taiwan has many talents," she said. "However, without the support of effective marketing, they would be easily sidelined and lose the stage in the face of global competition."

Tsai said that although WTO accession promises to help stimulate cultural creativity, it could also place the nation's culture legacy at risk if no precautions are taken.

"Precautions are strongly needed to safeguard our local culture and to avoid the occurrence of cultural imbalances due to opening the market to foreign competition," she said.

Corroborating Tsai's remarks, Premier Yu Shyi-kun commented that "it is important to develop the uniqueness of local culture."

"This will help us stand against competition without being overwhelmed or overridden," he told the conference attendees.

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