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(LEAD) S. Korea, Britain agree to promote cooperation in culture industry

All News 16:40 March 08, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with quotes, background info; CHANGES dateline; ADDS photo)

LONDON/SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Britain agreed Monday to fully support civilian exchanges among creative culture industries of the two countries.

Culture ministers from the two countries adopted a joint statement which called for continuous efforts to cultivate cultural startups both on the public and civilian levels during a related forum in London, according to the South Korean government.

The U.K.-Korea Creative Industries Forum, the second of its kind, was presided over by South Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Kim Jong-deok and the British Culture Secretary John Whittingdale.

Seoul officials expect the pact would help facilitate exchanges and cooperation between the two countries' government-run programs to nurture cultural startups.

In December, South Korea opened a government-run venture complex for cultural venture startups where the planning, production and distribution of creative cultural content can take place all in the same place. It is part of President Park Geun-hye's trademark "creative economy" policy for turning creative ideas into business opportunities.

The "Cel" complex, created through the remodeling of the former office building of the Korea Tourism Organization in central Seoul, is now home to 93 startups that have some 500 employees combined. Britain has a similar program called "Tech City UK," according to the ministry.

The two governments also decided to proceed with a variety of programs next year after designating the period from February 2017 to March 2018 as what is tentatively called "The years of mutual exchanges."

During the forum, agencies from the countries working in five cultural areas -- fashion, craft, film, broadcasting and art -- signed memoranda of understandings (MOUs) with each other to promote cooperation and exchanges.

"The signing of MOUs in various fields means the start of the two governments' support for cooperation between creative cultural industries of the two countries, which has been made at the civilian level," Kim was quoted as saying in a press release from his ministry.

"I hope it would help facilitate the two countries' development of convergence content and exchanges of venture startups," he added.

As a sideline event, the Fashion Korea Showcase was held at the forum to provide more opportunity for young Korean fashion designers to enter the British market.

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