Chairperson’s Press Statement of the Second Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA) and the AMCA Plus Three Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand  3 August 2005

The Second Meetings of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA) and the AMCA Plus Three (People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) were held in Bangkok on 3-4 August 2005. The Meetings were preceded by a Senior Officials Meeting on 2 August 2005.

1. The AMCA Meeting was attended by H.H. Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Phalawan Haji Mohammad bin Haji Daud, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Brunei Darussalam;  H.H. Sisowath Panara Sirivuth, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, Cambodia;   H.E. Dr. Sri Hastanto, Deputy Minister for Arts and Film, Department of Culture and Tourism, Indonesia;  H.E. Mr. Mounkeo Oraboun, Minister of Information and Culture, Lao PDR; H.E. Datuk Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Malaysia; H.E. Brigadier General Soe Win Maung, Deputy Minister of Culture, Myanmar;  H.E. Mr. Lamberto R. Ocampo, Chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, The Philippines;  H.E. Dr. Lee Boon Yang, Minister of Information, Communications and the Arts, Singapore;  H.E. Mrs. Uraiwan Thienthong, Minister of Culture, Thailand;  H.E. Mr. Pham Quang Nghi, Minister for Culture and Information,  Vietnam;  and H.E. Mr. Ong Keng Yong, Secretary-General of ASEAN and their respective delegations. The AMCA Plus Three Meeting were also attended by H.E. Mr. Sun Jiazheng, Minister of Culture, the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Kushida Toshimi, Director, Office for International Cultural Exchange, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and Mr. Park Sung-ki, Director, International Cultural Cooperation Division, Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

3. The Meeting was officially opened by H.E. Mr. Vishnu Khruangam, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand.  In his Opening Speech, the Deputy Prime Minister welcomed all ministers and their delegations to the Meetings and to Thailand.  He informed the audience that, since their inaugural meetings in Kuala Lumpur in 2003, the AMCA and AMCA+3 processes have been progressively consolidated and have shown significant dynamism.

4.   He underscored the importance of exploiting the experience gained over the past years to improve the efficiency of future cooperation activities. In this regard, he expressed that this ministerial meeting would consider and adopt a cooperation framework on human resource development and development of small and medium enterprises in the culture sector as the priority areas to further enhance ASEAN as well as ASEAN Plus Three cooperation.

5. He informed the audience that the Thai Government had been undertaking great efforts and had great hope in the task of bringing the thirteen countries closer.  In this regard, he believed that all member countries have the responsibility of working in a framework of mutual respect and equality in order to fulfill the wish of all their peoples living in peace and prosperity.

6.  H.E. Mrs. Uraiwan Thienthong, Minister of Culture of Thailand and H.E. Brigadier General Soe Win Maung, Deputy Minister of Culture, Myanmar were elected as the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Meetings, respectively.

Human Resource Development in the Culture Sector and Small and Medium Sized Cultural Enterprises

7. The Ministers agreed that there can be an ASEAN-wide approach in pursuing human resource development in the culture sector and an ASEAN creative/cultural industry.  In view of the broad scope of cultural products and services and the large number of programmes that could be initiated, a prioritized and practical approach should be taken during the initial stages in order to build up capacity at the regional level.

8. With regard to cooperation in the development of SMCE, the ASEAN Ministers agreed that ASEAN should consider coming up with its own collective or joint productions in the film and music industry and formulate programmes for  business benefits in these sectors.  In this regard, the Ministers recognized the acheivements of Thailand, RoK, China and Japan from which other ASEAN Member Countries could benefit.

9. To achieve the above objective, special working groups, comprising of experts from the film and music industry, would be set up to conduct a study and provide practical recommendations. To facilitate cooperation and enhance business and trade in the film and music industry, the Ministers also recognized that Member Countries may need to consider forging bilateral or multi-lateral ministerial-level mutual recognition agreements among them as well as the arrangements already existing between several Member Countries in ASEAN.

10. The Ministers also agreed that cooperation in the film and music should not only be confined to the commercial films and music sectors, but would also include exchange of non-commercial productions and telenovelas to promote and strengthen friendship and awareness of each others’ cultures in developing the culture creative industry.

11. In view of the fact that culture could generate job opportunities and income for the people of ASEAN and that the Plus Three countries are already advanced in this respect, the Ministers agreed to explore the possibilities of cooperation and appropriate assistance from the Plus Three countries.

Liberalization of Trade in the Culture Sector under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS)

12. As this was a relatively new area for ASEAN, the Ministers agreed that it needed to be discussed further with the ASEAN economic officials and would be kept informed of developments.

ASEAN Culture Week

13. The Ministers encouraged moves to bring the ASEAN Culture Week, an existing ASEAN project showcasing the region’s cultural heritage encompassing performing and visual arts, overseas as this would promote awareness of ASEAN and further strengthen the mutual understanding and friendship between ASEAN and outside ASEAN.

AMCA Plus 3 (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea)

14. The Meeting realized the importance of cultural heritage as a potential asset for our next generations that has not been fully integrated in the regional management and therefore, the setting up of the task force for formulating the regional policy on selected masterpiece of cultural heritage is urgently needed.

15. The Ministers noted that the ASEAN could benefit from the knowledge and technical expertise of the Plus Three countries to enhance human resource development in the culture sector and to develop SMCEs especially at the national level. The assistance could come in the form of marketing and design of cultural products. The Plus Three countries expressed strong support for collaborations and joint activities with ASEAN in the area of culture and arts.

16. The ASEAN Ministers further encouraged the Plus Three countries to establish a policy to invite and involve more ASEAN cultural and arts communities and organizations to culture and arts events held in the Plus Three countries in order to encourage cultural exchange  among ASEAN Plus Three countries.

17. The Ministers discussed the need to draw up an ASEAN criteria for the listing of national heritage sites. The UNESCO criteria should not be the only yardstick of recognizing ASEWAN’s heritage sites. The Meeting noted that a similar initiative has been carried out in the setting up of the ASEAN Heritage Parks that now lists 24 sites in ASEAN Member Countries.

18. The Meeting further discussed the importance of public educating in the conservation and maintenance of cultural heritage including the need to protect cultural heritage against theft. In this respect, the Ministers agreed that cooperation of the ASEAN Plus Three framework in this area would be invaluable. The Plus Three countries were also ready to assist ASEAN Member Countries in protecting and maintaining their cultural heritage sites.

ASEAN and China Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation

19. A Memorandum of Understanding between the ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China on Cultural Coooperation was signed at the sidelines of the AMCA Plus Three Meeting on 3 August 2005.

20. The MOU aims to promote exchanges and cooperation in the field of culture especially through artistic collaboration and exchange, joint research and study, exchange of information and people-to-people exchange and interaction. The MOU will also support the conservation, protection and promotion of tangible and intangible cultural heritage through programmes in cultural heritage management, protection of intellectual property rights and networking and exchange among cultural heritage agencies and organizations.

21. ASEAN and China would also step up cooperation in cultural enterprise and creative industries through product development, promotion of the culture market, exchange of information and networking among experts. In addition, it would pave the way for both parties to assist each other in human resource development in the fields of archaeology and cultural heritage, traditional and contemporary arts, cultural enterprise and creative industries, the arts and cultural management.

22. A work programme, which identifies the basic project areas and activities to be developed and implemented on a short-term and long-term basis, is currently being finalised. The MOU would be in operation for five years and extended automatically for a three year period.

Third Meeting of the AMCA and AMCA Plus Three

23. The Third Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA) and the AMCA Plus Three would be held in Yangon in 2007.

Closing and Acknowledgement

The Ministers expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government and people of Thailand for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements contributing to the success of the Meeting.

The Meeting was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN solidarity and cordiality.