CUMEDIAE was honored to attend the seminar on EU-China Cultural Diplomacy and Cultural Trade, held on December 7, 2016 at the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium). In their speeches, representatives from China and the European Union pointed out the key role played by digital modern technologies in deepening cultural relations between the Old Continent and the Asian country, as well as the increasing number of co-productions and joint cultural projects carried out by both actors.
On this occasion, CUMEDIAE was well represented by its Chairman and CEO, Ignasi Guardans, who shared his ideas on the future of cultural relations between the EU and China, two actors that are currently “intertwined and connected by thousands of bridges at many levels”. Under the title ‘Peacocks, Dragons, Watercolors and Beyond: Cultural Trade and Exchanges EU-China’, Guardans highlighted, among other things, the importance of copyright when dealing with cultural exchanges and the need to protect and empower cultural heritage at all costs. “Our societies are heavily influenced by hundreds of cultures, and this is one of the reasons why our DNA is also a mixture of tons of cultures”, Guardans stated.
In order to give the maximum visibility to the seminar, CUMEDIAE used social media tools to synthesize and publish the speakers’ speeches and interventions, highlighting the importance of collaborations between the European Union and China in terms of cultural exchange and diplomacy. Twitter continues to be CUMEDIAE’S most successful and effective tool to engage with its audience thanks to its interactive, global nature and its capacity to bring together an unlimited number of organizations and individuals interested in the arts and culture.
Defining cultural trade in a globalized world
“Our experience has shown us that cultural products trade promotes cultural diplomacy in many different ways”, General Director of Shanghai Tengyuan Import&Export Company Han Huifang stated at the seminar, using her own company as an example of how globalization in cultural economy is making economic interests, cultural interests and diplomacy interests more closely. But what does cultural trade really mean? How do artistic exchanges work today?
As some of the speakers suggested, cultural trade, as a form of trade in an open market economy, transforms its spiritual interests into material benefits so that cultural transmission and consumption can be guided by fair market transactions, minimizing unnecessary cultural anxiety and resistance, and being more efficient to achieve the relevant interest targets. In this line, the benefits promoted by the cultural trade are a kind of multi-benefit synthesis, which is open outside and introverted inside. It focuses not only on the short-term interest, which can get effect instantly, but more concerns about the long-term interest, which runs more silently.