Gov’t opens new center for cultural content drive

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Gov’t opens new center for cultural content drive

The government on Wednesday launched a cultural center in Seoul that would serve as a key incubator for the nation’s cultural content industry, which relies heavily on Hallyu, or the Korean Wave.

Its opening marks the beginning of a series of projects related to cultural content - informally referred to as the culture and creativity fusion belt - set to be completed by 2017.

The initiative is in step with the Park Geun-hye administration’s push for a “creative economy,” which includes four major components for state affairs management. Cultural prosperity is one.

“Cultural industry is the essence of the nation’s future growth,” President Park said at the launch ceremony, proudly noting that Korea’s brand has spread beyond Asia to Europe and South America.

The process of planning, producing, materializing and reinvesting cultural content will be completed by 2017, according to a press release by the Blue House.

Under the multi-layered culture and creativity fusion belt, cultural-content creators will be tasked with coming up with new ideas and material at the government’s new culture and creativity fusion center, based at the CJ E&M building in Sangam-dong, western Seoul.

Cultural content, under the government’s guidelines, includes film, K-pop, musical shows and performances, fashion, food, different mobile platforms and gaming.

Most of the companies that forged a multilateral memorandum of understanding at the launch ceremony Wednesday are industry leaders.

Participating companies include top portal operator Naver, Daum-Kakao, the No. 1 film distributor CJ and the fashion arms of Samsung and LG, among others.

Ideas will materialize at the tentatively titled Culture and Creativity Venture Complex, inside the Korea Tourism Organization in Jung District, central Seoul. It is set to be complete by the end of the year.

The government also plans to open a culture and creativity academy to foster related human resources at the end of 2016.

Meanwhile, a CJ-led consortium is set to build a 1 trillion won ($911 million) pop cultural-content complex in Gyeonggi that will accommodate a large-scale performance center, as well as a Hallyu street to cater to tourists and production studios, near the end of 2017, according to the Blue House.

Those at the launch ceremony Wednesday included the ministers of science, ICT and future planning; culture, sports and tourism; trade, industry and energy. Blue House officials, as well as the CEOs of SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment were also in attendance.

BY SEO JI-EUN [spring@joongang.co.kr]




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