Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Lam

At a recent roundtable discussion on institutions, policies and resources for cultural development, Prof. Tu Thi Loan from the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts mentioned the five bottlenecks faced by cultural industry development.

Regarding institutional problems, Loan said that under the cultural industry development strategy to 2020, Vietnam planned to promulgate the Ordinance on Performing Arts and the Ordinance on Fine Arts of Photography by 2015, and the Law of Performing Arts and Law of Fine Art of Photography by 2020. 

However, these laws have not been issued yet.

Advertisements bring very high income, but when issuing the Law on Advertisements in 2012, Vietnam was interested only in traditional advertisement forms (broadcasting, TV, billboards). In the 4.0 era, there are many more forms, including ads via the internet and digital platforms.

The new advertisement forms do not bring revenue to the state budget, but to the pockets of foreign owners such as YouTube, Facebook and TikTok. Therefore, it is an urgent task to amend laws and legal documents.

The second obstacle is related to the mechanism. Experts said that Vietnam needs to shift from an ask-and-give licensing mechanism, i.e. from pre-check to a post-check mechanism. 

There should be solutions that allow artists to do all the things not prohibited by law. If violations are found, they will be handled under the law.

The third is related to human resources. Previously, Vietnam only paid attention to managers and creators. However, producers, enterprises and cooperatives are also important and need more attention in all phases of the training process. 

The fourth is financial resources. Industrialization requires huge social resources. Vietnam needs to mobilize resources from enterprises. Particularly, there should be private public partnerships for cultural and art projects.

The fifth bottleneck is limited facilities. 

Speaking about fighting harmful cultural content on social media and foreign platforms, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Lam said it is no longer difficult to manage cross-border platforms because Vietnam has changed its awareness, willingness and institutions, while policies have improved.

Lam said the prevention of bad and toxic news has at times succeeded. In the time to come, Vietnam will take the initiative in preventing bad information from the source, not after the information appears in mass media. 

The current difficulty is the lack of knowledge about information-sharing practices of cross-border platforms. The platforms tend to suggest a lot of bad and toxic information. 

Lam recently met with advertisers to discuss using their ad budgets for domestic platforms instead of on foreign platforms.

He said that foreign companies not observing the laws will no longer be protected after Decree 71 takes effect on January 1, 2023.

“With the newly released Decree 71 that amends the decree on providing broadcasting services on the internet, I can say for sure that the problem will no longer exist. We can require these platforms that provide movies across borders to Vietnam to observe laws like domestic enterprises do, or they will be blocked,” Lam said, adding that a level playing field will be created for both domestic and foreign enterprises.

Thai Khang