Vietnamese Gov’t proposes a $4.8b culture development programme in next ten years

The programme could include building of cultural centres in countries like the United States, Japan, Russia, South Korea, China and Cambodia, in order to further promote the image of Vietnam's people and culture to the world.

Viet Nam News

Viet Nam News



A performance at the 4th Vietnam Cultural Heritage Festival held in Hanoi's Thang Long Citadel November 22 last year. PHOTO: VNA/ VIET NAM NEWS

June 4, 2024

HANOI – The National Assembly has been hearing about a proposal to extend cultural centres at home and overseas.

On Monday, NA deputies listened to the Government’s proposal along with the assessment report on the investment policy for the National Target Programme on Culture Development for the 2025-35 period, as part of the ongoing 7th session of the 15th-tenure NA.

Presenting the Government’s proposal, Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Nguyễn Văn Hùng said the programme will be implemented not only in Việt Nam but also in a number of other countries with long-term cultural exchanges or relations with Việt Nam, or countries with a large Vietnamese diaspora.

The programme could include building of cultural centres in countries like the United States, Japan, Russia, South Korea, China and Cambodia, in order to further promote the image of Việt Nam’s people and culture to the world.

The programme which is divided into three periods of implementation – 2025, 2026-30, and 2031-35 – has seven general objectives: (1) creating significant, comprehensive changes in cultural development and in building, perfecting the standards for ethics, identity and values of Vietnamese people and families; (2) improving the spiritual life and accessibility to cultural enjoyment for the people; (3) preserving, promoting the value of the nation’s unique cultural heritage; (4) focussing investment resources on key, quality and effective cultural development; (5) building a team of high-quality artists, leading experts and professional workers; (6) promoting the public, scientific and national character of culture through creative innovation; (7) enhancing the country’s international status by leveraging the ‘soft’ power of Vietnamese culture.

The programme is designed around ten component functions, 153 detailed criteria, 42 specific tasks and 186 detailed activities, following the directives of the General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng at the 2021 National Cultural Conference.

The total resources needed to implement the programme for the 2025-30 period is projected to be VNĐ122.250 trillion (US$4.81 billion). Sixty three per cent of this amount (VNĐ77 trillion) will come from the State budget, 24.6 per cent (about VNĐ30.25 trillion) will be from localities’ budgets and the remaining will be from other legal sources.

According to the culture minister, the total State budget support for the three current national target programmes for 2021-25 (new style rural, socio-economic development in ethnic minority and mountainous areas and sustainable poverty reduction) is VNĐ192.586 trillion ($7.57 billion).

Comparing the work and objectives of these three programmes with the 10 component contents of the Culture Development Programme, Minister Hùng said that the proposed VNĐ77 trillion is appropriate and within the affordability of the State budget.

Chairman of the NA’s Committee on Culture and Education Nguyễn Đắc Vinh, presenting the assesment report, said the committee agrees with the necessity of investing in such a culture development programme as proposed by the Government.

The investment meets political, legal, scientific and practical grounds, reaffirming the Party’s and the State’s policies on building and promoting culture in sustainable development of Việt Nam.

The committee considers that the programme’s implementation will fulfill urgent requirements for comprehensive human development, building an advanced Vietnamese culture with strong national identity. This ensures culture becomes a firm spiritual foundation of society, an intrinsic strength and a driving force for national development and defence, as per the Party orientations, Vinh noted.

Regarding the projected resources, the committee generally agrees with the proposed total investment and acknowledges the Government’s effort to align with the Party’s perspective on cultural development.

Some concerns were raised about the scale of the proposed budget, which is higher than other target programmes already being implemented, suggesting that the Government clarify the basis for determining the total programme budget.

For central budget support, the committee agreed with the proposed allocation and states that this level is acceptable and within the State capability. However, an investment rate of 24.6 per cent required from local budgets might be too much for localities that are already struggling.

The committee noted that the proposal covers complex areas, with varying perspectives and approaches in the making of the programme. Therefore, comprehensive research and evaluation are necessary, the assessments must be of high quality, and appropriate time should be allocated for the parliament to provide feedback.

“We propose that the NA consider and decide according to the two-session procedure, with initial feedback at the 7th session and consideration and approval at the 8th session of the 15th NA,” Vinh said.

While being in favour of building Vietnamese cultural centres overseas, the committee urged the Government to clarify the legal basis for the building programme given that it is currently outside the scope of the Law on Public Investment.

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