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Poland, Korea hash over cultural promotion

Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and National Heritage Piotr Glinski visited Korea last week to boost collaboration between the two countries, which aim to globalize their cultures as engines of growth.

As part of his five-day visit, he participated in the 7th Asia-Europe Culture Ministers’ Meeting in Gwangju, representing the Polish delegation that joined with the highest number of officials. He also met his counterpart, Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Kim Jong-deuk.

The venue, established in 1996 in Bangkok, is an informal platform for mutual dialogue and cooperation between the European Union and Asian countries. It involves the participation of heads of government, ministers and senior officials, covering a wide array of issues, such as trade and investment, finance, education, culture and people-to-people exchanges. The ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meeting has been held biannually since its inception in 2003 in Beijing, and the Polish city of Poznan hosted the event in 2010.

“Poland maintains its position that cultural heritage, including preservation, revitalization, management and promotion, should be a major concern for Asia and Europe,” Glinski said in a speech.

“In an era of globalization and rapid changes, many countries acknowledge that creativity and innovation are the driving forces of their economies. Regions that embrace creativity and innovation generate significantly higher revenues and provide greater stability than those neglecting them.”

Arguing that the “creative economy” flourishes by unleashing human ingenuity, the minister stressed that Poland has actively devised and implemented policies at the central and regional levels, nurturing cultural and artistic education and related institutions and infrastructures.

His job being responsible for cultural and artistic education nationwide — at primary, secondary and higher institution levels — Glinski said his ministry had supervised 1,000 art schools and 19 universities. A dense network of national institutes supports creative industries with grants, global partnerships and research programs, according to Glinski.

The Lodz Film School in the city of Lodz, which is campaigning to host the International Exposition 2022 under the theme of “the Reinvention of the City,” helps graduates find jobs in Hollywood productions. In the field of information technology, where Poland is a regional leader, postgraduate employment exceeds 100 percent, reflecting demands outside the country.

Computer game production firm CD Projekt created “The Witcher” series — a series of video games based on a popular Polish novel — by collaborating with professionals from around the world. Its newest edition, “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide since launch and was named game of the year at the 2015 Game Awards.

All in all, these efforts have elevated each region’s cultural, economic and tourism potential, the deputy minister underscored. Employment and share of cultural enterprises in the national economy have increased, in addition to strengthening community bonds, social trust and human development, he added.

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