Free flow of Culture – Asymmetric expectations in Europe and in China? 文化的自由流动 – 中欧间不同的期待?

Creative economy
Free flow of Culture – Asymmetric expectations in Europe and in China? 文化的自由流动 – 中欧间不同的期待?

Chinese translation (scroll down)

China has made the development of its creative and cultural industries a policy priority. Massive investments are directed at State, Regional, District and Municipal levels to this effect.

Cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen are at the forefront of a policy driven essentially by economic considerations: develop a service economy capable of producing and distributing entertainment, design, in valorising the local craftsmanship and raw materials (silk for instance) to cater for the Chinese audience but also to export Chinese cultural goods and services abroad.

Shanghai and Shenzhen estimate that around 7% of the city’s GDP stems from culture and creative industries. Beijing put this figure at 12% with a larger definition of CCIs which include sport, tourism and business software. Large culture and creative industry trade fairs are taking place throughout China, creative clusters or parks are burgeoning throughout with a view to build capacity. Universities have set up specialized departments to study the economics of the culture industry and consider policies to nurture this particular economic sector. Large industrial conglomerates, whether public or private, active in real estate or the energy sector are devoting increasingly large investments to the development of creative industries, perceived as a key growth sector.

China has also made the enforcement of intellectual property a policy priority. This is a new and very encouraging recognition that IP remains an essential tool to encourage individual creativity and reward investment in creativity (witness the recent problems encountered by mighty Baidu with Chinese right holders).

China is leapfrogging the traditional analogue way of doing business in the culture industry. It is at the forefront in the development of digital business models and the consumption of digital cultural goods via smartphones or digital networks.

During a recent trip as part of an EU mission KEA has visited art, silk, jewellery and design districts which are just as attractive as the European fashion districts in London, Barcelona, Berlin or Amsterdam. Smaller in scale but as inventive in content.

China is a market ripe for European creative industries looking to expand their business activities in the largest market of the world. The latter is looking to acquire European creative skills in architecture, design (industrial as well as fashion design), new media (games, web services), performing arts, art and culture management.

China lacks the infrastructure and know-how on how to best manage its heritage, to encourage creative entrepreneurship and to nurture small creative enterprises. At policy level it has yet to establish an environment conducive to creativity and freedom of creation. It is lacking a true cultural policy that goes beyond bureaucratic control to embrace access to culture for all citizens, heritage preservation, nurturing local and minority diversities.

Cultural strategies at local level look patchy and often do not go further than supporting economic ends. Culture is rarely perceived in its other dimension: a resource for knowledge, a tool for social innovation and cohesion, a stimulant to imagination and creativity which is the pillar of a creative economy.

The KEA study on the Economy of Culture in Europe in 2006 attracted the attention of Chinese authorities and in particular the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). We have since been working to alert the EU authorities of the opportunity to engage with China in a sector in which Europe is competitive. The aim is to incentivize collaboration between the EU and China at business and policy levels, to encourage joint ventures, increase trade and cultural exchanges between two ancient civilizations and to promote IP licensing to stimulate IP enforcement through Chinese creative companies. Our policy recommendations feature in the Mapping Document on EU-China Culture and Creative Industries established in the framework of the IPR2 programme.

The 2012 EU/China year on intercultural dialogue is the opportunity to concretize further the prospect of collaboration. As part of an EU/China policy forum KEA is organizing the visit of 20 European creative companies (from 10 countries) in the field of New Media, Design, Communication, Architecture and Art Management to meet potential partners in China. This is in the context of the 8th international trade fair on culture and creative industries which takes place in Shenzhen.

China’s priority contributes to raise awareness on the economic, political, trade and social potential of EU’s creative economy at EU level. This is the paradox.


Philippe Kern



文化的自由流动 – 中欧间不同的期待?

发展文化创意产业已经成为中国政府的优先政策。 在这影响下,大规模的投资都已经开始进入中国国家和省市级的相关单位。


上海和深圳本地文化创意产业约占其城市生产总值的7%。 北京市的这个比例约为12%,因为北京市把文化创意产业定义地较大, 更包括有运动,旅游和商业软件。 大型的文化创意产业交易会正在中国各地举行。为了加强发展速度和生产能力,创意集群或园区也正在迅速的建设当中。 许多大专院校已成立了专门研究文化产业经济政策的部门,并重点培养专业人才。 无论是公有或私营的大型房地产和能源企业集团也都视创意产业为有助增长的关键行业,随之而来的是越来越活跃的投资基金向创意产业的注入。

中国政府也设规范知识产权法规为优先政策。 这是一个非常鼓舞人心的官方认可。因为知识产权仍然是发展文化创意产业的重要工具,特别是有利于鼓励个体的创造力和创造性中的投资回报机会(正如最近强大的百度与中国产权人的矛盾问题)。

中国的文化产业已经跨越了传统式的业务方式, 如同模拟信号向数字网络的转型。 中国经济已进入了数字化发展的最前沿, 比如数字业务化的发展和通过数字智能电话的文化产品消费模式。

在最近为协助欧盟项目出访中国的行程中, KEA参观访问了多个大型艺术品,丝绸,珠宝或设计集聚区,发现其虽有大规模, 但并不可同伦敦,巴塞罗那,阿姆斯特丹,柏林等欧洲时尚之都的多元市场相比。 在欧洲同业者规模通常较小,但创新内容却是多样多姿。

对于期待在世界上最大市场上寻求新商机或扩大其业务活动的欧洲创意产业而言,中国市场已经是相当成熟的了。 中国各方正在寻求网罗多样的欧洲创意人才, 如建筑,设计(工业以及时装设计),新媒体(游戏,网络服务),表演艺术,艺术和文化管理, 等等。

中国目前还缺乏用来保护文化遗产,鼓励创新企业家精神和培育小型创意企业的基础设施和管理知识。 在政策层面上,中国尚未建立一个有利于创新的环境和自由创造的意识。 一个真正的文化政策需要超越单单的政策控制, 而需多方深入发展公民对文化的参入性, 文物保护, 加重在本土文化中本地和少数民族文化多样性的培育。

地方级的文化策略通常不完整, 多只是在乎支持经济目的而已, 并没有进一步地完成。 文化的多种重要性很少被了解: 例如,文化是一种知识资源, 文化是一个社会创新和凝聚力的工具, 文化是一种想象力和创造力的刺激物,此更为创造性经济的支柱。

2006年KEA对欧洲文化经济的研究, 曾引起了中国政府的注意,特别是中国商务部。 KEA后来一直在提醒欧盟当局可以利用欧洲具有竞争力的文化创意产业, 来发展与中国的贸易机会。 其目的是激励中国和欧盟之间的在业务和政策上的合作: 例如, 以通过鼓励两个古文明之间的贸易文化交流来促进合资企业的发展, 或是, 以通过促进在中国创意企业间知识产权许可的工作来加深对知识产权执法的认识。 KEA的政策建议出现于中欧知识产权项目二期框架内的研究报告:欧盟和中国的文化创意产业研究

2012年中欧文化对话年是可以让中欧双方更进一步地迈向在文化创意产业领域上的经贸合作机会。 在深圳召开的第八届文博会上,作为中欧政策论坛的一部分,KEA组织了二十个新媒体,设计,建筑和艺术管理领域的并来自十个不同欧洲国家的创意产业公司以寻求中国合作伙伴为目的与中国企业的见面活动。

中国政府目前的首要任务是在提高欧盟对其创造性经济的重视,以及对其重要的经济,政治,贸易和社会潜力的认知。 这何不是自相矛盾的呢!

菲利普 . 克恩


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