ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China achieved another milestone in cooperation with the signing today of a Memorandum of Understanding on cultural cooperation.

The MOU aims to promote culture cooperation 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.

Under the MOU, 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, and the arts and cultural management.

“This MOU on culture will bring in a new level of energy and a sharper focus in cooperation between ASEAN and China and will further add to the close and friendly ties existing between ASEAN Member Countries and China,” said Secretary-General of ASEAN Ong Keng Yong who signed the MOU on behalf of the regional organization. H.E. Sun Jiazheng, the Minister of Culture, signed on behalf of China.

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 to implement the MOU.

The MOU was inked in Bangkok at the sidelines of the on-going 2nd Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA) and the AMCA Plus Three (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea). The MOU would be in operation for five years and extended automatically for a three year period.

Cultural relations are already growing steadily between ASEAN and China. China regularly sends cultural troupes to several ASEAN Member Countries which also sends cultural artistes to China frequently. China is also invited to an on-going ASEAN cultural project, the ASEAN Youth Camp, which aims to promote cultural interactions among young people in the region, added Secretary-General Ong.