Connection, distribution, effective use of state, enterprises and social resources for cultural development

Assoc. Prof. Dr. DOAN MINH HUAN
Member of Party Central Committee, Editor-in-Chief of Communist Review
Wednesday, January 10, 2024 08:02

Communist Review - Playing a decisive role for cultural development not only needs the increase of resources, but also has to renew the way of using the resources. In the curent conditons, resources for cultural development need to increase the investment scope in combination with distribution and effective use, enhancing the connection between the state, enterprise and social resources.

Politburo member, Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue, together with Politburo member, permanent member of the Secretariat Vo Van Thuong and the leaders of the Party and the State, listen to the introduction of Đông Hồ folklore paintings at the 2022 Culture Seminar “Institution, policy and resoures for cultural development” _Photo:

Resources are all the “input elements” which are ready to be put to use or preservation in service of production of a country, a locality, an enterprises, a famil y or an individual. According to the mode of existence, there are ertangible resources and the intangible resources; according to the character of the natural resources (geographical position, natural resources), the system of national assets, the social-humaneness resources (intellectuals, labour, cultu ral heritages, information, science-technologies and so on), the financial resources; according to the proprietor, there are the state resources, the resources of enterprices and the social resources.

In Vietnam, to develop culture, it needs even the internal and external resources. The external resources can be the State’s ownership, the international institution, enterprises, non-government organizations, individuals, including the Vietnamese nationals settling down abroad. The resources of the State’s ownership, the international institutions often are the refund or the non-refund aids in combination with technologies and man-power which are often used to restore and preserve the cultural heritages. The resources of enterprises with foreign investment capital are often directed to develop the tourism products chains, the cultural industries, the entertainment industries, the digital platforms in combination with the specific man-power, the technoligies of this sector. Cooperation with the foreign investors to avail ourselves of the resources, the technological level, to paricioate in the supply chain of cultural products and servifes has now become the current great tendency. The resources of the non-government organizations and individuals are very abundant and diverse, which are often financed through the funds, making a no small contribution to preserving and promoting the cultural values, particularly enhancing the cultural diversity, protecting the cultural identity of the ethnic minority people, the local cultural identity.

The strength of the resources for the cultural development in Vietnam in the new period is based on the full promotion of the domestic resources and the international resources, the State, enterprise and social resources, all are connected to create the synergy.

A number of main solutions to promote the connection, to optimize the distribution and the effective use of the state, enterprise and social resources in service of the cultural development

Firstly, to renew the mechanism of distribution, the effective use of the public finance to serve the cultural development in the direction of applying the principle of competition, enhance the concentration, to ensure that “public invesment leads investment”, “the public investment draws the social investment”.

Cultural development has brought about the common benefits to the people, ensured the spiritual foundation for the national sustainable development, boost the public values, so first of all, it is necessary to determine fully the responsibility of t he State  in close association with the budget investment. It is neceaasry to overcome the concept that considers culture only enjoy one-way benefits of the fruits of economic growth, the spendings for culture are the spendings for the people’s welfare. Renewing the awareness starts from the concept that investment in culture is really investment in development; it not only creates the spiritual, moral and spiritual foundation for social development, but also creates impetus for economic growth. Increasing the spendings on culture to 2% of the total budget spending conforms to the growth upswing and the economic scope. Public investment in culture has to be reached the threshold, of concentrated character so as to be fully strong to lead the private investment and draw the social investment. Therefore, public investment in culture has to overcome the scattered state, the still not high effectiveness, particularly the investment in developing infrastructure, the cultural institution, in training human resources of culture, in building the outstanding cultural products of national brands.

To adjust the structure of public investment in the direction of concentration on modernizing infrastructure, the mainstream cultural institution, like digital plaform, theatres, museums, libraries, public parks, the historical- cultural relics of special class at national level. To combine reasonably between the investment in the public non-business units and the investment in the form of direct support to the beneficiary objects, particularly in training the high-quality human resources with the abilities in international integration (like the investment in training the film directors, artists, artisans and so on}. Importance is attached to investing in human elements, in transfering the non-business spendings of investment character to developing the professional abilities, human development (purchasing equipment in service of improving the professional level, study abroad, seminars, skill training and so on).

To renew the investment mechanism in the direction of vigorously shifting to the mechanism of placing orders on the cultural products and services, without discriminating the public area or the private area, create the market for the public cultural products and services.  To apply the models of “public investment, private governance, private operation” (1) for the cultural institutions requires the modern, professional governance. To apply the form of bidding the service packages using the state budgets with a view to ensuring the equality in the opportunities of accessing of the public and privae non-business units, enterprises and the community organizations (2).

Secondly, improve the effectiveness of using the land resources in combination with the resources, cultural heritages on earth or in the underground through the combination with the responsibility of the state, enterprises and society.

Land belongs to the ownership of the entire people, the State represents for the proprietor and unify the management, assign the right to use to the subjects in society. Developing culture always needs the land resources, including the building land, the deelopment of institutions, the cultural works and the management, exploitation and use of the cultural heritages in combination with the land surface.

The State plans the land to ensure the development of public spaces, the cultural institution. Cultural institution is always in the central position of cities, land is of high value, so it needs the suitable land fund planning. To limit the removal of the culutral institutions frlm the urban centres with nice position, to have the land for developoing the trade-service centres. To develop the industrial parks, new urban areas, it is necessary to have carefull calculation of land planning to build the cultural institutions.

To perfect mechanism and policy to ensure the rights to get access to and equal use of all the subjects (the state, enterprises and society) for the land to build the cultural works. To have the clear stipulations for the exemption of taxes on land use, to prioritize the investors to build and develop the cultural institutions, develop the cultural services such as schools, museums, libraries, cultural spaces and so on, operating in accordance with the non-profit principle.

The land of State public property that is assigned to the management, exploitation and use of the public non-business units needs to review, assess and regulate the discipline. Equitization of the State-run enterprises or the public non-business units operating in the cultural area has to calculate fully the value of land according to the market. The land of public property managed by the public non-business units in the cultural area has to be used for the right objective; the state of land grabbing has to be resolutely put down, the use of public spaces and cultural institution is for the commercial purpose.

To perfect the stipulations for handing over the right to management of the community, the use land is connected to relics and heritages on earth, particularly the sacred forest land, the relic land – scenic landscape sights so as to improve the responsibility of the community’s management and exploit effectively the value of the culutral heritages in service of the ecotourism, the community tourism, the spiritual tourism.

To amend the stipulations honouring individuals, families, clans, the families that have donated their land to build the community welfare works, the cultural institutions such as public parks, roads, schools, museums, libraries, the culture houses. It is possible to accept to put the name of those who have donated their assets to build the roads, cultural space, the cultural funds (of course, there is nothing to do with the historical and political issues).

Thirdly, to renew the mechanism of activities of the public non-business units in the cultural field.

It is necessary to assign the broad democratic autonomy to the public non-business units which are capable of supplying the cultural products and services in accordance with the market mechanism, first of all, the products of the cultural industry. The units that supply the purely public cultural products and services have to be listed clearly so as to determine the responsibility of the State investment, particularly the cultural services to protect the ideological foundation, cultural security, moral value, traditional arts that the market has supplied.

To implement the equitization, the transfer of the operational model of the public non-business units which supply the cultural industrial products and services to the operation in accordance with the mechanism of enterprises, ensuring the financial autonomy, the autonomy in the plan on production and business activities. At the same time, to determine the State’s responsibility in training human resources, placing the orders of the products so as to create the market, to take part in expediting the advertisement of the Vietnamese cultural products and services to the world.

The purely public cultural-services-supplying non-business units will also be shifted to the operation in accordance with the mechanism of order placing with competition in combination with the specific products, instead of the State’s subsidy in the traditional way that will easily cause the stagnation, reliance and lack of the innovation impetus. The State is tasked to give financial support to capital construction, to procure the modern equipment, improve profession, skills, train the human resources, pay the basic salary. The “output” products have to be ordered with the specific criteria with competitiveness among the units in the public area and between the public area and the private area, particularly the art products.

To boost the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in developing cultural career. To review the items and work that are able to boost investment in the form of the public-public partnership so as to issue the attractive policies, particularly those on the development of the cultural industries and tourism development.

To have the policy on training and developing the cultural human resources for the public area, connectng to the orivate and social areas. Apart from the contingent of intellectucals, writers and artists, it is necessary to have the policy on arisants, to support them with a special mechanism so as to nurture talents, foster and pass on the knowledge to the next generation.

Fourthly, to attract the domestic private investment and foreign investment in developing the cultural industries, building a chain of tourism products, commercial products imbued with Vietnamese cultural identity.

To shape the list of cultural products and services attractive to the domestic enterprises and the foreign-directly-invested enterprises so as to perfect the preferential memchanism in attracting investment.

The advertisment and soft ware and entertaining games, fashion accessories, cinema and son on have the large geographical balance to attract domestic private and foreign investments, particularly the export-oriented products. The garment industry of Vietnam needs to attract the internatiopnal-caliber innovative directors who are capable of making new designs to the taste of consumers, bringing about the highly added value for the textile-garment products. The cinema industry needs very much the in-depth cooperation with capital, technologies and high-qualified man-power so as to be able to create the cinema products fully capable of international integration to reach out to the world market, to advertise the “soft power” of Vietnam. Designing the software games, electronic entertainments in combination with the electronic trade always needs the large investment, the training of human resources to get access to the 4th Industrial Revolution where the private and FDI areas are always in the strong positions.

A very new area that needs to be done on a trial basis, but promises the possibility of attractng foreign investment: it is motorcar race, horse race and others, together with the building of the supply chains for procurement of tourism cultural commodities, sportcar racing in linkage with the strategic investors.

Developing tourism based on the global supply chain of the big, professional trade names needs a policy to attract the multi-national companies to build a chain of hotels, restaurants, the Formula racetracks in linkage with development, advertisement of special tourism products of Vietnamese identity. The fine art handicaraft products, traditional cuisine, OCOP products and so on always need the ro le of enterprises from making capital investment, in-depth processing, brand building, the origin of goods, geographical indication, image promotion.  Therefore, it is necessary to have the strategy to attract the strategic investors to develop sports and tourism, to develop the clusters of tourism in combination with a series of the cultural and entertainment services.

To perfect the policies on taxes, land of attracting the domestic and foreign investments for the development of cultural industry. To renew the method of censorship of cultural industrial products, enhance the management of the trans-border digital platform. The culture sector has to coordinate closely with the diplomatic sector to expand the trade promotion with the strategic investors, the large groups of the cultural industry in the world, such as the companies of cinema, hotels, fashion designing, the design of entertainment softwares, motorcar race, horse race and so on, thus creating conditions to attract foreign investment.

Fifthly, to encourage enterprises to shift the resourcess of investment and development of the cultural products and services in accordance with the non-profit principle.

While the tendency in the non-profit area has played an ever more important role for the cultural development, it is necessary to stipulate clearly the characteristics, the forms of non-profit application in general and the non-profit services in the cultural areas in particular, say, the non-profit organizations (funds, schools, cultural centres) under enterprises; the social organizations; the community organizations; the cultural institutions in the principle of non-profits (museums, libraries, art galeries, the cultural spaces, forums and so on).

Developing the non-profit cultural services can be undertaken by a lot of different measures. As for the cultural funds and organizations financed by the enterprises to carry out the responsibility, it is necessary to clearly separate it from the business activities of enterprises, to implement correctly the principle and goal of the non-profit organizations. As for the funds, spaces, forums, the charity cultural school, the centres for conservation of heritages, libraries, museums and so on set up by individuals, it is necessary to have the close regulations on management to avoid being taken advantage of using them for the trade purposes.

The model of governing the non[-profit porganizations that supply the cultural products and services needs being modernized. The non-profit organizations always needs a part of raising funds, developing the financial capacities in a professional way, but all the proceeds have to be reinvested in developing the cultural cause without dividing it to any founding members. The members of the governing council of cultural institutions and funds are, first of all, those who can get an insight of the job, get passionate with culture, literature and arts, have the pure morality. The State needs to assign the broad authority to the social organizations in assessing and evaluating the profession of the cultural and art products before being displayed and circulated far and wide before the public.

Sixthly, to unlock and free to the maximum the social resources in service of cultural development.

There is no other resource whose potential in society is so abundant and diverse as the cultural resource, because it is closely associated with human beings, families, clans, local communties, social organizations, comprising both tangible and intangible resoures.

The tangilbe cultural resourde such as historical-cultural relics (temples, pagodas, communal houses, shrines, the Rong house “a typical house on stilt, kind of community house in the Central Highlands of Vietnam – translator”, halls of ancestors of clans), relics – scenic landscapes, antiquities, national treasures, sacred forests. These resources can be owned, kept, managed and exploited by the State in the museums; can be owned, managed and used by the community to serve the belief requirrements, folk. clan festivals in combination with the specific performing spaces; can be owned by individuals in the families. The intangible cultural resources such as belief, festivals, habits-customs, folk culture, folk arts, local knowledge, the architectural values, musics, folk paintings and so on are closely associated with the role of management, exploitation and use of the community organizations, the social organizations, the role of the folk artisans, the prestigious people in the community.

Exploiting and promoting these resources demand a satisfactoory  treatment of the relationship between the preservation and development, the “static” preservation and the “dynamic” preservation in the community life. In which a special importance should be attached to the preservation in combination with the exploitation to serve the economic-social development, the historical education and tourism. It is necessary to apply the principle of enterprise governance to exploit and promote effectively the cultural resources to serve tourism and the Museum in Quang Ninh Province is a typical example(3).

It is necessary to determine the role of the State, the role of enterprises and of the community in promoting the social resources for the cultural devepment. Absolutizing the State’s role will stiffen, not arouse the role and the strength of enterorises and community in mobilizing and using the cultural resources. Absolutizing the role of enterprises will promote the commercialization of the cultural values, but in many cases, it will lose the orientation of values, without reflecting correctly and fully the function of culture. Absolutizing the social role will make the cultural resources be framed in the community limit, without being connected, without promoting by the strength of the market mechanism to improve the value, to capitalize the cultural resources for the economic development.

The role of the State reflects in creating the institution, plan, public investment to lead the private investment and attract the social investment in the cultural development. It is necessasry to perfect the institution and legam framework to protect the copy right, to protect the right to the community ownership for the local intellectural, to orevent the state of being robbed (4). That the enterprises take part in the cultural development does not mean encroaching on the grounds, or hampering the space of the community organizations; in the opposite, it connects, cooperates and guides the community to self-govern the relics, scenic landscapes, to distribute the harmonious interests between enterprises and communities (5). The community organizations need to apply the market principle to advertize, promote and capitalize the cultural resources like the value of local knowledge in the farm products, the cusine tradition, the traditional handicraft products of different values (like OCOP products), exploit the values of secred forests, the ecospace, relics-scenic landscapes in service of tourism development.  The authorities do not make deep intervention in the governing activities of enterprises and communities, but it issues the regulations on guidance, inspection and supervision of the implementation as provided.

Some proposals and petitions

Firstly, to review and renovate the way of distribution and use of the public financial source to invest in the cultural development in the direction: To build the programe of national target for the cultural development in accordance with the 10-year strategy of the economic-social development (to the year 2030 and the 2021-2040 stage), in combination with the clear determination of the specific cultural products and services; to focus on investing in the resources to build the modern cultural institutions (theatres, museums, libraries, sport stadiums, public parks), creating the highlights in big cities, to be on a par with the medium-level national position; to invest in developing the outstanding cultural products needs a breakthrough, particularly the cultural and art works; to restructure the investments of non-business character geared into the human element, instead of shifting to invest in infrastructure. Only by focusing on reaching the threshold can the public investment be able to execute the role of “public investment leads private investment”, “public investment draws social investment”.

Secondly, to shape the strategy of developing the cultural human resources with the concrete objects: i) Artists and artisants – the people who create the outstanding cultural and art works; ii) Innovative directors (fashion designers), the software programmers of entertainment industry – the innovators  of the value of the cultural industrial products; iii) leaders and public managers of cultural stature – the people who make a decision on the design of lines and strategy of national development based on the cultural foundation and vision. Each kind of above-said resources needs a right-level investment, a suitable training and fostering policy. Attention should be paid to the abilities of international integration for the resources of cultural and art field.

Thirdly, to perfect the institution, regulation and sanction to protect the community interests, in which there are the public spaces, the public cultural institutions with a view to ensuring the people’s cultural welfare, particularly in the urban areas. To shape a mechanism with a clear subject for claims, protect the public interests in the conditions of market economy in order to restor the transgressed cultural spaces, to protect the public spaces that are facing the challenges of being grabbed and shrunk by the market forces, to keep serious discipline and rectify the management of development plan of the public spaces.

Fourthly, to have the mechanism to protect the community ownership for the local knowledge, such as the local knowledge on health care, the traditional medical prescriptions; the plant varieties, animal breeds of indigenous genetic source; the process and traditional technology of breeding and planting, the indigenous animals; the method of preservation and porocessing of the fine art handicraft products, in connection to the origin, geographical indication so that they cannot be robbed of their community interllectual property in the process of participating in international integration. In the process of developing the OCOP products together with the registration of brands, goods origins, geographical indication has to be registered with the community intellectural property.

Fifthly, to shape the mechanism of harmonious distribution of the interests of the subjects that hold the different links of the cultural value chains in linkage with the development of the clusters of tourism industry. The input elements of tourism development consists of the natural resources, infrastructure, human resources, the knowledge and capital resources and so on, have to be done in accordance with the principle of distributing the interests as contributed by the owners. The State invests in infrastructure, in ownership of land resources, of the public human resources, so it is entitled to collect taxes, fees to make up for the expenditures and costs; enterprises invest in developing human resources (enterprises), invest capital in restaurants, hotels, tour operations, are enttled to collect profits with their spent expenditures; the communities owning the cultural resources, the local knowledge, the social human resources are also entitled to enjoy the benefits with their contributions. To distribute interests in close linkage with each subject of the State, enterprises and communities that organize and operate the tourism activities (6); It is not only to consider it in a specific relic or scenic landscape, but it has to be placed in the overall clusters of the industry that hae brought about the added value for each of that relic and scenic landscape./.


(1) The State can invest in building the modern theatres, but it delegates to the private entities to govern, exploit and operate them.

(2) Like the competitive tendering of designing the historical-cultural relics sites in service of tourism.

(3) The Museum in Quang Ninh Province is the wholly autonomic non-b usiness unit, operating in accordance with the mechanism of enterprise, with the customer strategy, the product strategy, the market development in combination with the shaping of the marketing parts.

(4) The indigeno us genetic resources, the precious and rare medicinal herbs, the traditional medical prescriptions are robbed by foreigngers without having any protective mechanism.

(5) In many countries, the tourism enterprises only do the task of tour business, residence and food; but the local communities are entitled to organize the sight- seeing tours, to sell souvenirs to tourists in the relic site.

(6) Like enterprises hold the links: the services of residence and food, the tour services, the cinema houses, product communications; the State holds the link such as the communications means, security and services of protection, information, Internet, the financial-banking services, while the communities hold the links such as to guide the sight-seers in the relic sites, to organize the festivals…

This article was published in the Communist Review No. 1005 (January 2023)