Vietnam/ 6. Financing of culture  

6.1 Short overview

In Vietnam, government (both local and central) is the largest funder of culture. Other forms of funding culture, by means of the market, donations from individuals/private institutions or sponsorship from companies are still in the early stages of development and are quite small in financial terms.

Before 1988, financing of culture or other sectors all followed the mechanism of subsidy and centralised planning. Public cultural organisations were all run under the financial support from the government budget. There was no private organisation in this field.

During the period 1989–1997, with the promulgation of the law on state budget, there was a policy reform on financing. Public services had to operate on the basis of self-management of their finance, self-doing business, and self-responsibility on their business results. They were not all subsidised and had to decide their products by receiving the signals from market. These policy reforms had made some conditions and opportunities to cultural organisations to promote their capacities. However, many cultural organisations also faced with lots of difficulties in the new context.

In 1997, to create the legislative background for the reform and management of public organisations, the National Assembly had approved the law on state budget to mark a milestone event to the clear division of duties and responsibilities of state organisations in the financial field such as: the right of the National Assembly and local people’s councils in the determination of the estimate of state budget and approval of financial balance sheet; the right of government and local people’s committees in the management and operation of state budget; the right and responsibility of financial institutions and government organisations in using state budget. At the moment, cultural organisations are financed in these backgrounds.

Chapter published: 30-11-2013