Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kun (江丙坤) and his Chinese counterpart, Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), yesterday touted the development of cultural and creative industries across the Taiwan Strait and vowed to speed up cooperation to promote Chinese culture.
In a cross-strait cultural exchange forum in Taipei, Chiang said the cultural and creative industries on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have thrived over the past 20 years, based on a common language, similar cultural backgrounds as well as geographical proximity, and that Taiwan and China should jointly promote Chinese culture and create leading Chinese brands.
Chen, head of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, agreed, saying that the two sides of the Strait should work together and develop cultural and creative businesses with the support of government policies.
“The two sides have reached a consensus to include the cultural and creative industries in negotiations on the service sector relating to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement [ECFA]. We should jointly create top brands and become key players in the field,” Chen said.
The production value of cultural and creative businesses in Taiwan accounted for 4 percent of last year’s GDP, or NT$600 billion (US$20.2 billion), Chiang said. China has also seen growth in its industry, with the sector expected to contribute 5 percent to the nation’s GDP by 2015.
Chen, who was in Taiwan last month for the eighth round of cross-strait negotiations on investment protection, was this time leading a 60-member delegation on a 10-day cultural trip. He said the delegation aims to promote cross-strait cultural exchanges during the trip.
‧ Last year, cultural and creative firms in Taiwan accounted for 4 percent of the country’s GDP.
‧ China has also seen growth, with the sector expected to contribute 5 percent to the nation’s GDP by 2015.
However, his visit still sparked opposition from independence advocates and civic groups.
Hundreds of pro-independence supporters, Falun Gong members and supporters of Hong Kong’s “anti-brainwashing” protest yesterday gathered at Huashan Creative Park and held signs to protest Chen’s visit, under police watch.
However, they did not see Chen, who canceled a planned visit to the park at the last minute. The Chinese envoy also canceled a scheduled visit to Songshan Cultural and Creative Park in Xinyi District (信義). The SEF said Chen felt a little uncomfortable after the forum in the morning and decided to take a rest at his hotel in the afternoon.
Chen is scheduled to tour New Taipei City (新北市), Greater Taichung, Greater Kaohsiung and Hualien during his 10-day trip, visiting temples and cultural parks in the cities.