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Britain, China explore potentials in creative industries
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The Center for Creative Business in London hosted on Thursday Creative Exchange with China, exploring the possibilities of business ventures between the two countries in the creative industry.

The conference, which is aimed to help creative businesses from both China and Britain to get to know each other before exploring the business potentials of the rising industry, has attracted some 200 creative entrepreneurs, creative business managers and executives, policy makers, practitioners academics and researchers.

In his keynote speech delivered at the conference, Michael Bichard, rector of the University of the Arts London, said within the next two years, Britain's creative industries sector is expected to overtake the financial sector as the country's most significant economy. At the same time, China will move ahead of Germany as the world's third largest economy.

"If we remain isolated, we would not be able to achieve our creative goals of building global brands. To make collaborations effective, it takes much deeper look into the respective industries instead of superficial ones," he said.

Bichard, who is also chair of Design Council UK, hopes that Design Council would cooperate with China not only academically, but across the business to develop tomorrow's creative industry.

However, Bichard noted that creative exchange is not just about money, it's about understanding. The Olympics is a strong link between Beijing and London. Bichard urged for enforcing the bond, saying "two countries together can achieve great things."

Professor Xiong Chengyu, director of National Research Centre of Cultural Industry at China's prestigious Tsinghua University, clarified the conceptual difference of cultural industry in China and creative industry in Britain.

"It has only been 5-6 years since we began to talk about the cultural industries in China. In the past in China, we regarded culture as a kind of spiritual course which is focused on social benefit rather than economic benefit. The Chinese government realized how important it is to the national economy and has already carried out a number of policies to help and promote development," he said.

Wang Yongzhang, director general of cultural industries at China's Ministry of Culture, elaborated on China's policy improvement on the cultural industry over the years to serve as a backgrounder to the audience.

Representatives from British and Chinese creative companies also shared information about their experience in China during panel sessions.

The afternoon session dwelled on three topics with participants discussing Investing in China, Investing in UK and Managing Creativity in China.

The one-day conference sponsored by the Center for Creative Business, University of the Arts London and London Business School, is part of China Now, a six-month celebration of Chinese cultural and history across Britain.

(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2008)

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