Lahore (Qasim Ali) The Institute for Art and Culture, Lahore, (IAC) and the City of Austin, Texas, United States of America have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), intended to establish a collaborative relationship exploring arts and culture education, professional services and the creative industries including fashion and textile. The formal bilateral trade and investment relationship between the two parties is envisioned to fulfil the following outcomes for both parties; creation of employment opportunities, expansion of foreign direct investment, and contributions to fashion, arts, culture, and education. The growth of existing arts and other creative industries, strengthening educational and business development partnerships supporting the creative industries and increased trade in goods and services related to apparel, textile, accessories, and artisanal craft goods, will also be encouraged under this partnership. This MOU will be beneficial for not just the IAC, but cultural and creative industries of Pakistan that will have access to an international market and improve opportunities of revenue generation.
Under this agreement, the organization of bi-lateral trade, economic development, and exchange missions will be carried out by the two parties, as well as development of joint educational programs and exchange opportunities between Austin universities and IAC. The development of business-focused cultural exchange projects between the creative industry sub-sectors of both cities will also be spearheaded through this understanding.
These activities will be carried out under the framework of the ATX+PAK Entrepreneurship Program’s Fashion Forward Initiative. A delegation from the City of Austin visited Pakistan in November, 2019, and was hosted by the IAC during their trip. They were very impressed with the IAC’s work with artisans in South Punjab and initiated the MOU. This partnership will encourage the establishment and promotion of joint resources which strengthen entrepreneurs, small and medium sized companies as they seek to export or import to or from the partner community which will be very beneficial for the Pakistani crafts industry.