Seminar of European and Asiatic culture policy in Hanoi

September 2004 -

With the fifth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of government leaders just ahead, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is hosting a seminar in Hanoi, Vietnam in collaboration with the Vietnamese and Belgian Ministries of Culture. The subject of the seminar is cultural diversity and exchange in light of globalisation. The seminar, which will be held from 17 - 19 September 2004, is part of a series of two meetings about European and Asiatic culture policy, which will provide feedback for ASEM 5 to be held in Hanoi on 8 and 9 October.

ASEM is an 'informal dialogue' between the EU and ten Asiatic countries (Brunei, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam). ASEM was first held in March 1996 in Bangkok, Thailand. Even though economic and political relations are the focal point, strengthening cultural relations is also one of ASEM's objectives. Culture is one of the responsibilities of ASEF, which was set up in February 1997 with Singapore as its home base.

The first ASEF seminar, held at the end of June in Bangkok, was attended by 45 culture experts from 18 ASEM countries. Their objective was to find innovative solutions for cultural policy dilemmas. The seminar's recommendations included strengthening mobility between European and Asiatic artists and art promoters, ensuring a better exchange of knowledge and information about cultural policy and promoting contacts between cultural organisations in Europe and Asia. The report was recently published online on ASEF's web site.

Preceding ASEM 5, the ASEM Performing Arts Festival will be held simultaneously in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The event will start on 20 September and consists of two parts: a fashion show and workshop involving young designers from Europe and Asia, and a pop festival with seven bands from both parts of the world.