Toespraak van Zijne Majesteit de Koning tijdens 6e ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meeting

De toespraak is uitgesproken in het Engels.

Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the Netherlands! Our country is proud to host this 6th ASEM Culture Ministers' Meeting, dedicated to the rise and relevance of creative industries.

'Creativity is not the property of artists alone. It's a basic element of the human character, no matter what culture you're in, no matter where you are on Earth.' These words by the eminent video artist Bill Viola pretty well sum up what unites us today.

The choice of theme for this meeting is perhaps a little daring. In the past, your discussions have focused mainly on issues relating tocultural heritage.

But we've chosen a different angle, linking past, present and future.

The Netherlands feels very strongly about the transnational importance of creative industries. We need creative people and creative solutions to help improve the quality of our lives and to develop new sources of value in our economies. So creative industries deserve a prominent place on our agendas.

The rise of creative industries is a global phenomenon. In Asia and Europe, countries and cities are exploring the many ways in which creative skills and concepts can make our lives better and our economies stronger. It's this magical mix of imagination, innovation and cultural entrepreneurship that's so exciting and promising.

Let me give you a few examples of the connecting role of creative industries.

In hospitals, ambient lighting is making medical examinations less stressful for patients.

Creative designers and researchers have been working together to transform the medical environment and create a gentler, more calming atmosphere. This helps improve interaction between patients and medical staff, during MRI scans for example.

In cities, architects, local governments and citizens are inventing new and creative ways to meet the challenge of climate change. Here in Rotterdam, they came up with the idea of a water plaza. When it's dry, it's a great place for playing basketball or rollerblading. During heavy rainfall, the basins in the plaza retain the water, keeping it away from the sewage
system and preventing urban flooding.

On pig farms, animals and farmers could be in for an exciting future. Game designers and livestock researchers are working on a computer game called Pig Chase that lets pigs and people play together.

A screen with light effects enables pigs to interact with a human player via an iPad. Pigs are curious and playful animals, so this could be a way to improve animal welfare.

In fashion, designers and technical engineers are working to incorporate solar fibres into clothing. You'll be able to recharge your mobile phone while you're out and about using sustainable energy generated by your scarf or jacket.

These are just four examples, but there are many more.

What all these initiatives have in common is their connecting force. Artists join hands with engineers. Doctors team up with designers. IT whizzkids pool their strength with farmers. And architects combine their efforts with water experts and local communities. Creative
industries represent the ultimate crossover. That's why they can constantly come up with new solutions.

Creativity is the steam engine of the 21st century. It is driving innovation and bringing a new dynamic to cities. In the future, the availability of sufficient creative talent will determine economic power and cultural vitality. That's why creative skills are so essential. And why the topic of creative industries concerns us all.

We can learn a great deal from each other, as all ASEM member states have their own cultural tradition and their own views on how to best unleash the potential of creative industries.

I hope this 6th ASEM Culture Ministers' Meeting will be a platform for creative interaction and a source of inspiration to you all.

Thank you.