Sept. 25 (NBD) – After preparation of more than two years, the Chengdu Culture and Creativity Industry Development Investment Fund ("Chengdu Culture and Creativity Fund") was unveiled Tuesday. This is the first ever culture and creativity fund with a size of 10 billion yuan (1.5 billion U.S. dollars) built in sub-provincial cities, the central and western regions, and "new first-tier cities" in China.
As an indication of Chengdu's deepened reform of the cultural system and efforts to promote the integrated development of culture, sport and tourism, the Chengdu Culture and Creativity Fund will be of great significance to further speed up the growth of the culture and creativity industry in Chengdu and even the central and western regions of China, inject new vitality to cultural innovation and creation, and help forge Chengdu into a world famous cultural city.
New driver for Chengdu's innovative development of 'culture + finance'
Culture is the soul and foundation of urban development. Also, it is key to improve a city's attraction, competitiveness, influence and soft strength. Culture is an important force to drive Chengdu's innovation-driven development and economic transformation.
According to the Action Plan to Construct Western Culture and Creativity Center (2017-2022) released by the CPC Chengdu Municipal Committee and Chengdu Municipal Government, a 10-billion-yuan municipal-level fund would be set up to encourage eligible investors to create culture and creativity investment funds and institutions, and also to guide more funding towards the core areas of creativity and design industries as well as emerging cultural domains.
Speaking at a conference concerning the construction of an internationally renowned cultural city in Chengdu Tuesday, Mu Tao, vice minister of the Publicity Department of the CPC Chengdu Municipal Committee, said the Chengdu Culture and Creativity Fund was formed principally based on three considerations:
First, the commitment to developing Chengdu into a city reflecting new development concepts and also into an internationally renowned cultural city. One of the major tasks is to follow the instructions of the CPC Chengdu Municipal Committee and Municipal Government to set up a 10-billion-yuan culture and creativity fund.
Second, the commitment to expanding channels for the investment and financing of culture and creativity enterprises. Efforts need to be done to strengthen the weakness in and enhance the catalytic role of financing for culture and creativity companies, and improve investment and financing abilities of culture and creativity enterprises.
Third, the commitment to bringing into full play the leverage role of government fund. Governments will shift its role from funding to investing in projects, in a bid to increase enterprises' cost consciousness and efficiency of capital utilization. At the same time, the amplification effects of sub-funds should be leveraged to attract more social capital to the culture and creativity area.
Culture and Creativity FoF launched
The Chengdu Culture and Creativity Fund boasts a combination of a fund of funds (FoF) and sub-funds. Money raised will be mainly used to set up sub-funds, but a certain percentage of fund will be earmarked for specific projects. The FoF, with an initial size of 2.5 billion yuan (365.3 million U.S. dollars), is expected to attract a capital inflow of nearly 10 billion yuan (1.5 billion U.S. dollars) by setting up sub-funds. This is anticipated to give full play to the demonstration and leverage role of government fund, and guide more social capital towards culture and creativity areas.
In fact, some other cities in China have set up similar FoF for culture and creativity industries. However, as the number of projects invested is limited, and what's more, some invested by the funds were in-house entrepreneurial projects of related companies. Not only does it take time to deliver results, the whole FoF also loses its focus in positioning. In contrast, the Chengdu Culture and Creativity Fund has established an impressive presence with more distinct characteristics.
First, the Fund will adhere to the requirement of strengthening the CPC's control over finance, which was put forward by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC. This will guarantee the right direction when investing projects. Independent investment supervisors, which will be from the Publicity Department of the CPC Chengdu Municipal Committee, will be added in the investment decision-making committee, and they will have veto power over contents invested and investment directions, so that the FoF could run in the right direction under the leadership of the CPC Chengdu Municipal Committee and Municipal Government.
Second, the Fund will primarily invest in eight areas – media and film & TV, creative design, culture, sport, tourism, music and arts, and exhibition advertising.
Third, with roots in Chengdu, the Fund will serve the southwestern city well by pouring money into projects with a focus on integration of culture, business, tourism and sport as well as those with an aim of setting up branches in the city. By doing so, a high-quality financing platform will be built to drive the development of Chengdu's culture and creativity industries.
Another surprise about the fund lies in its management body, Chengdu Tianfu Culture & Creativity Equity Investment Fund Management Company ("Tianfu Culture & Creativity Investment"). The company is founded jointly by well-known financial media National Business Daily ("NBD") as the controlling party and People's Venture Capital, the investment arm of People's Daily Online. This is the first time in China that two media companies have joined forces to manage a culture and creativity fund.
NBD has been deeply cultivating the media industry since its establishment 10 years ago. Born with culture and creativity genes, NBD has developed a user base of 50 million and has won a wide range of social resources and powerful influence. People's Venture Capital is equipped with rich investment experience, having made equity investment worth 2 billion yuan (292.2 million U.S. dollars) for more than 30 projects. The industrial background of the two shareholders has given Tianfu Culture & Creativity Investment a profound understanding and insight into the culture and creativity industry. In turn, for the sub-funds and investment projects of the Chengdu Culture and Creativity Fund, Tianfu Culture & Creativity Investment can give full play to the natural attributes and information advantages of the media, empowering various links along the industrial chain in a multi-dimensional manner.
The Fund facilitates building of World Famous Cultural City
Chengdu always stands in the front row among Chinese cities in promoting the culture and creativity industry. The Action Plan stipulated that the city expects to build a string of projects and platforms which bear national functions and exert international influences by 2022, making Tianfu culture deeply rooted in people's hearts.
According to the Action Plan, the provincial capital is to build more than 10 million square meters of culture and creativity parks by 2022, in a bid to realize 260 billion yuan (38.0 billion U.S. dollars) in added value in the culture and creativity industry, accounting for around 12 percent of the city's GDP.
The plan unfolds a grand blueprint, and the setup of the Chengdu Culture and Creativity Fund will provide a real landing facilitator, a strong and powerful booster, and an innovative carrier of Culture & Creativity + Finance.
Mu said the Chengdu Culture and Creativity Fund will achieve three outcomes in the future.
First, the scale of the Fund will reach tens of billions of yuan. The FoF of the Chengdu Culture and Creativity Fund has initially hit 2.5 billion yuan (365.3 million yuan) and will become the first culture and creativity fund in China's sub-provincial cities as well as in western areas of China, with the amplification effect of the sub-funds.
Second, the Fund will facilitate the city's efforts to build itself into an important cultural and creative center and a financial center. The fund will attract top private equity funds from home and abroad to settle in Chengdu, cultivate and incubate a series of listed companies, unicorn enterprises and gazelle enterprises in the culture and creativity industry, and create a group of integrated platforms of culture, business, tourism and sports domains, so as to help build the city into an important cultural and creative center as well as a financial center.
Third, the Fund will help establish an ecosystem. The Fund will fully explore the industrial cluster effect and attract excellent investment institutions, workspaces, projects and talents of the cultural and creative industry. Aiming to introduce more than 100 financial talents and more than 1,000 talents who have an integrated knowledge of culture, business and sport sectors to start a business, the city is building a highland for empowering talents and constructing a healthy, orderly and vibrant cultural and creative ecosystem. All these will promote a high-quality and sustainable development of Chengdu's culture and creativity industry.
Up to now, many companies in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou have expressed their willingness to participate in the establishment of sub-funds, with a capital scale exceeding 2 billion yuan (292.2 million U.S. dollars). At the preparatory stage, Chengdu Culture and Creativity Fund's management body, Tianfu Culture & Creativity Investment, has obtained a number of high-quality integrated projects of culture, business and sports sectors. These indicate the strong adsorption capacity for funds and projects of the Chengdu Culture and Creativity Fund.
It can be seen that the establishment of the Chengdu Culture and Creativity Fund will push the city's cultural creativity industry into the country's first front, help shape the city's brand of "Three Cities and Three Capitals," and accelerate the construction of an important cultural creativity center in China and a cultural famous city in the world.
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