Ed Vaizey MP, UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, led a UK creative services mission to Taiwan on 14 March 2013 to further strengthen bilateral links on cultural and creative industries and enhance cultural relations between the UK and Taiwan.
This is the first time a UK Culture Minister has visited Taiwan. During the visit, Minister Vaizey met Dr. Lung Ying-tai, Minister of Culture, to follow up on Minister Lung’s visit to the UK last month (22-27 February) and to support UK companies keen to collaborate on cultural/creative industries projects in Taiwan. He also called on Minister without Portfolio, Mr. San-Cheng Chang to discuss how to promote creativity and innovation.
The London 2012 Olympics were a model of sustainability, including planning for the Games’ legacy, and The London 2012 Festival showcased the best that Great Britain had to offer in the arts and creative industries. Minister Vaizey shared this experience with Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin. UK Trade & Investment and Taipei City Government signed a Host2Host Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last year to develop deeper relations between the UK and Taipei City as Taipei prepares to deliver the 2017 Universiade for elite university athletes. The Agreement provides a platform for the UK to share the London Olympics legacy with Taipei City.
Minister Vaizey said at a luncheon organised by the British Trade & Cultural Office (BTCO):
I am delighted to see such a wide range of creative and cultural links between UK and Taiwan. I believe that there are many areas where the Taiwan and UK economies are compatible, from our shared high-tech and innovation strengths to our focus on developing culture and the creative industries. The UK’s strengths in design and creative industries are well-recognised in Taiwan. I look forward to much further collaboration which will bring fresh inspiration to both sides.
Sir John Sorrell, the UK Trade & Investment Business Ambassador, who accompanied the Minister to Taipei, will deliver a presentation on ‘The Age of Creativity’ at a “UK Creative Industries Seminar” organised by BTCO on 15 March. Sir John is the author of “Creative Island” I & II. He is also the Chairman of the London Design Festival.
UK creative consultants have been actively involved in a number of recent creative and cultural projects in Taiwan, including Charles Landry supporting Taipei City Government’s development of Taipei as a creative city, John Howkins working with Taiwan Land Development Corporation, and many others involved in branding and experience economy projects.
Cultural links between the UK and Taiwan have been also growing steadily. In the last five years, a number of UK cultural institutions have toured Taiwan including the Royal Ballet and the Complicité theatre group, and exhibitions from the British Museum, V&A Museum, Design Museum and Barbican Centre have attracted thousands of visitors. Taiwan’s National Palace Museum is developing links with the British Museum. In 2011 Edinburgh International Festival held a promotional event in Taiwan to launch that year’s Festival which featured an adaptation of King Lear performed by Taiwan’s Contemporary Legend Theatre. Taiwanese performing arts groups, including the well-known Cloud Gate dance company, frequently tour the UK.
The UK accounts for less than 1% of the world’s population, but it has the largest creative sector in the world, worth over £36 billion a year. The Creative Industries generate about £70,000 every minute for the UK economy.
Minister Vaizey’s visit to Taiwan was part of a regional trip, which also included a visit to Seoul, South Korea.
The Host2Host Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on 5 September 2012 at the Global Sports Projects Summit at the British Business Embassy in London. It will enable Taipei City to benefit from the UK’s experience of staging the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.
Sir John Sorrell is the author of ‘Creative Island’ I and II. He originated and developed the London Design Festival in 2003 with the purpose of positioning London as the design capital of the world and as the gateway to the UK’s world-class creative industries, which now has over 300 events at the venues across the city. More than 300,000 people attended the last event, with 60,000 from abroad.
Sir John launched a new annual conference called “Global Design Forum” at the 2012 London Design Festival, with the aim of bringing together leading players in the world of design to discuss, debate, to think and make decisions about the way they want design to impact the world. In November 2012, the first “Global Design Summit” took place in Hong Kong to take the conversation forward, identify the key issues and to help set the agenda for the future.