Vietnam/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.2 Public actors and cultural diplomacy

Vietnam organises cultural events in co-operation with foreign embassies or international representative offices in Vietnam for celebratory occasions such as the celebration of the thirty-five year relationship between Vietnam and Spain, fifteen years of Vietnam—United States Relations, forty years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Norway, EU Jazz Festival, EU Film Festival, cultural weeks of Korea, Japan, Russia, etc.

Foreign cultural institutions located in Vietnam present their culture and arts to the Vietnamese public. The most famous is the French Cultural Centre—opened in September 2003—offers French language courses and promotes French culture. It incorporates a Media Library equipped with free Internet and facilities to view CDs, DVDs, magazines, videotapes, books and comics; a Cinema that screens a regular programme of French films with French or English subtitles; and a restaurant-cafe. Exhibitions, concerts, theatre, conferences and intercultural events are held here on a regular basis.

The Goethe-Institute (Vietnam), established in 1996, promotes knowledge of the German language abroad and fosters international cultural cooperation. It conveys a comprehensive picture of Germany by providing information on Germany's cultural, social and political life.

British Council, running since 1993, has projects with Vietnamese partners and offer development opportunities for individuals, educational institutions, and government and business organisations in the following areas: Arts, Culture and Creativity; Education and English Language; Governance and Information about the UK. In the arts and culture field, British Council is aiming to demonstrate the quality and level of expertise of the UK in the arts. It focuses on contemporary, creative and innovative arts and aims to make a positive contribution to the rapidly developing arts scene in Vietnam, as well as promote creativity and innovation of the UK today.

The Russian Centre for Culture and Science promotes cultural relationship between the peoples of Vietnam and Russia. The programmes of the Centre are dedicated to the achievements of Russian culture and science. Among them there are literary and poetic evenings, meetings with artists, painting exhibitions, book-exhibitions, photo-exhibitions, concerts, performances and gala-functions, presentations, conferences, seminars and discussions.

The Korean Cultural Centre (Vietnam) promotes Korean culture in an effort to expedite international exchange between Korea and Vietnam and conducts Korean cultural lectures, performances and exhibits. The Centre also offers introductory courses  on the Korean language, publishes and distributes promotional material on Korea, hosts Korean movie festivals and operates libraries, in tune with the cultural demand of the Vietnamese people.

Vietnam has two Vietnamese cultural centres - in France and Laos - to introduce its culture to these countries and neighbouring areas.

Vietnamese institutions also promote foreign cultures such as national theatres and art organisations. These activities are coordinated with the Department of International Co-operation of the Ministry.

Local authorities can be networks, event organisers, general practitioners or sets of themes, on international co-operation. They are also involved in trans-border co-operation, in particular with Cambodia, China and Laos.

Cultural diplomacy is one of the pillars of modern Vietnam’s diplomacy and is seen to create soft power for the country. Cultural diplomacy has helped Vietnam to develop in a sustainable manner during the process of international integration.

The policies for cultural diplomacy are run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2011, cultural diplomacy was, for the first time, included in the documents of the eleventh National Party Congress and then the Prime Minister approved the Cultural Diplomacy Strategy until 2020. Various activities were held on the theme of building a shared awareness of cultural integration and combining cultural diplomacy with political and economic diplomacy.

Chapter published: 30-11-2013