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ABU GA – Prime Minister of Vietnam officially opens 50th ABU General Assembly in Hanoi

The 50th General Assembly of the ABU has officially opened in Hanoi, with the Prime Minister of Vietnam congratulating the Union on what he said were its “momentous achievements”. 

Mr Nguyễn Tấn Dũng told more than 650 delegates and guests assembled at the Melia Hotel Conference Centre that the ABU had evolved over half a century to become a top-notch professional association.

“The Union has initiated many practical cooperation projects that enabled its members to grow in capacity and sphere of influence in the dynamic and thriving Asia-Pacific region,” the Prime Minister said. “Please accept my congratulations on the momentous achievements of the Union.”

Mr Nguyễn went on to speak of the “irreversible” growth of digital media, which the Vietnamese Government was committed to developing “in technology, professionalism in program production, diversity in programs and services, and deeper regional and international integration and cooperation”.

On declaring the 50th General Assembly officially open, the Prime Minister said it “offered an excellent venue for policy makers, speakers and executives of ABU members and partners to share visions on the broadcasting industry of today and tomorrow, and work out strategies and concrete and practical plans of action to develop the industry further, enhance networking among ABU members and better cater to the demand of the audience worldwide for information on all walks of life”.

Also welcoming delegates to the two-day General Assembly from 28-29 October 2013, Mr Tran Binh Minh, President of host broadcaster Vietnam Television, spoke of the importance of “Serving Our Audience in the Digital Era” as the conference theme.

“Audiences are becoming increasingly savvy in their use of media and technology,” he said. “The proliferation of platforms allows people to chose the content they want and when, where and how to view or listen to that content.”

He asked “how do we, as broadcasters – public and private, large and small, developing and highly developed – best serve audiences in the digital age? Beside focusing on creating and delivering contents, we will pay more attention on Audience Interaction.”

He concluded by thanking “delegates, high-ranking leaders, top experts and prestigious policy makers coming from almost 250 ABU members of Asia-Pacific regions and other continents”. 

Mr Naoji Ono, Acting President of the ABU, said there were 685 delegates of 155 organisations from 54 countries and regions registered in this annual assembly.

“When you see the map, Vietnam is located in the middle of the Asia and Pacific region” he said. “Owing to the geological advantage and the hard work of the host, we are holding one of the biggest Assemblies in the ABU history.

“All of you who represent 252 broadcasting organisations have been working together on key issues for many years. We have collective wisdom that we can draw from.”

Mr Ono spoke of survival and growth through cutting edge technologies, noting that “we’ve added TV to radio, black and white TV is now in colour, and SD is gradually turning to HD”.

“Eventually, the TV screen will become what they call a hybrid screen, a combination of TV and the Internet available on one big screen or using a separate hand-held small screen that can be brought anywhere.”

ABU Secretary-General Dr Javad Mottaghi thanked the Prime Minister, VTV, Mr Ono and other delegates and guests. He congratulated Vietnam as a country  “full of enterprise and youthful energy – taking its place alongside the other great nations of the Asia-Pacific”.    

He said that in technology, Asia was effectively already in the lead and the ABU and members were taking advantage of new technology to create more opportunities and multiple choice for their diverse audiences.

“The ABU members – large and small – are already experiencing the benefits of the activities we collectively launched in the last few years”, he said. “These are projects that we set up together, so members can serve better their increasingly fragmented audiences who decide what, when and how to watch or listen.”