Minister Sampo Terho:
Cooperation with the Chinese cultural and audiovisual industries advances
During President Niinistö’s state visit to China, Finland has been forging closer links with the Chinese cultural and audiovisual industries. As part of the President’s visit to Beijing, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on cooperation in the fields of culture and cultural tourism. The ongoing negotiations on film and television co-production agreements also progressed.
On 14 January, Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport Sampo Terho signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Luo Shugang on deepening cooperation between the two countries in the fields of culture and cultural tourism. The signing took place in a formal ceremony in the presence of President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, adding weight to the cooperation between the sectors.
The content of the Memorandum of Understanding, which will remain in force until the end of 2022, and the plans to extend the Memorandum to cultural tourism had already been discussed in the previous meeting between Minister Terho and Minister Luo in Beijing in March 2018. Since then, the negotiations on the Memorandum’s content have continued between the ministries.
Negotiations on film and television co-production agreements continue
Progress has been made in the negotiations, launched in March 2018, to draw up co-production agreements for the audiovisual industry. Their purpose is to guarantee national treatment of co-productions with regard to the contracting parties’ public aid for the audiovisual industry, provided that the co-productions meet the applicable criteria.
Finland has proposed that the agreement currently under discussion cover both film and television. However, due to Chinese law and other factors, a separate co-production agreement will be drawn up for television. The Ministry of Education and Culture and the corresponding authorities in China have continued their negotiations on both agreements and seek to have them signed as soon as possible.
Minister Terho emphasised that Finnish producers have requested for co-production agreements to be negotiated with China, a country that is about to become the world’s largest market for films. These negotiations are a response to that request.
In the global film industry, international co-productions have become an established method of securing finance. While co-productions can be agreed without treaties between states, a co-production agreement often significantly facilitates collaboration.
“I am convinced that this cooperation in the economically and culturally important audiovisual industry will benefit both parties. The same can be said for the updated Memorandum of Understanding on cultural cooperation and tourism,” said Minister of Culture Sampo Terho.
One of the Finnish Government’s measures to strengthen the audiovisual industry has been to introduce an audiovisual production incentive. Minister Terho was pleased to note that the system has delivered the desired extra boost for the Finnish audiovisual sector and its development.
“Going forward, we continue to make use of this incentive to attract also larger international film and television makers to Finland,” said Minister Terho.
Toni Kokko, Special Adviser, tel. +358 2953 30113 (time difference EET +5 hours)
Kimmo Aulake, Ministerial Adviser, Cultural and Audiovisual Sector, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 295 330067