By Genalyn Kabiling
NONTHABURI, Thailand — The landmark agreement between the Southeast Asian bloc and China on media cooperation and exchanges could enhance the growth of the media industry, boost skills of journalists and produce quality output, according to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.
Andanar said the cooperation agreement between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, forged in a regional summit over the weekend, would also foster closer friendship and cultural understanding among the nations in light of the proliferation of fake news.
“We welcome the opportune agreements established between ASEAN and China with regards to exchanges, cooperation, and joint development in the said countries’ media sector. It reaffirms the importance of the multi-faceted relations between ASEAN and China,” Andanar said.
“Not only will the said agreements strengthen understanding and friendship between the nations involved, as 2019 is also designated as the ASEAN-China Year of Media Exchanges, it will also foster growth for each nation’s respective media industry through discussions, learnings, and collaborations,” he added.
The 10 ASEAN leaders met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang last Sunday and agreed to enhance cooperation on various fields including exchanges, cooperation and joint development in the media sector.
The leaders agreed that enhancing exchanges, cooperation and joint development in the media sector is of great significance to further strengthening mutual understanding and the long-standing friendship between the peoples of ASEAN and China as well as furthering ASEAN-China relations.
Under the accord, Andanar said the ASEAN member-states and ASEAN will forge greater communication on media policies and issues, cooperation on news coverage and materials and information dissemination that strengthens synergy between China countries involved; and media content cooperation through co-production of films, TV series, documentaries, and new media content.
It also seeks to promote participation in the film and TV festivals of China and ASEAN member-states; intensify cooperation in research and development in media technology and equipment production; encourage education and training through exchanges and workshops for media professionals from China and ASEAN countries.
“Media sector cooperation such as these are all the more important, at a time when disinformation and proliferation of fake news abound and can harm relations between countries,” Andanar said.
“As media is responsible towards connecting and bridging people towards understanding and appreciation, undertaking these exchanges and cooperation are necessary initiatives towards building mutual trust and understanding, and maximizing the potentials of mutual growth among journalists,” he added.
Andanar said he hopes such agreement would foster “not only the beginning of deep and fruitful relations that will further elevate the region’s media, nurture cultural understanding, and uplift further the region’s enlightened populace.”
Andanar said he also expects such media cooperation would enhance the skills and capabilities of our journalists and media professionals.
He said this would pave the way for the production of quality media commodities in the forms of films, documentaries, and radio shows, among others, which will be appreciated by the public.
“We hope that these agreements are only the beginning of deep and fruitful relations that will further elevate the region’s media, nurture cultural understanding, and uplift further the region’s enlightened populace,” Andanar said.