Club of Amsterdam Journal on their February edition presented an interesting topic for me : creative economy. The latest research about this topic was conducted by no less than five UN bodies : UNCTAD, UNDP UNESCO, WIPO and the International Trade Centre (ITC). It must be very important. The Club itself is an independent, international think-tank that organizes regular high-level discussions on preferred futures.

Definitions of the "creative economy" may vary, but it is generally agreed that at the heart of the creative economy lie the creative industries. There is no single agreed definition of the "creative economy" or the "creative industries" although clearly, they embrace the concept of "creativity" as an essential characteristic. The following groups of industries are included:

cultural heritage;
visual and performing arts;
audiovisual industries;
publishing and printed media;
new media;
design; and
creative services, including advertising and architecture.

Now you know it is interesting for me, since cultural heritage is part of it.
For Indonesia, the perspective of creative economy offers an interesting alternative. Developing countries around the world can find ways to optimize the potential of the creative economy for generating economic growth, job creation and export earnings while at the same time promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development.

The creative economy is a multidimensional concept with linkages to a number of different sectors in the overall economy. Thus policy-making in relation to the creative economy is not confined to a single ministry or government department; rather, it is likely to implicate a number of different policy fields, including:

economic development and regional growth;
urban planning;
international trade;
labour and industrial relations;
domestic and foreign investment;
technology and communications;
art and culture;
social welfare; and

Moreover, there is a similar multiplicity of involvement across the public sector, the corporate sector, the non-profit sector and civil society.

But what are the challenges of the creative economy, especially in developing countries? Reliable data on the creative economy – on its inputs, outputs, value of production, prices, employment and trade – are in short supply. The lack of a tradition for economic valuation and measurement in the cultural sphere, combined with difficulties of definition in the realm of cultural activities and creative goods and services, has meant that there has been a dearth of reliable indicators on which to base assessments of the size and scope of the creative economy. Thus at present, we have only a limited set of measures of creative-industry output, employment and trade.

Other aspect that needs to be addressed is policy making. The cross-cutting nature of the creative economy means that policy development for the creative industries must be formulated on a coordinated interministerial basis. In more specific terms, policy initiatives may be undertaken in:
  • mapping of inventories of cultural assets and creative industries;

  • SME business development and finance (e.g., micro-finance);

  • copyright legislation and enforcement;

  • support for artists and the arts, both direct (via fiscal means) and indirect (through encouragement of private sector support);

  • conservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage;

  • expansion of digital capacity and know-how;

  • market development, both domestic and export;
  • tourism promotion;

  • education, training and skills development; and

  • industry assistance (e.g., via investment incentives, tax concessions, etc.).

As a result, policy development cannot be confined to a single ministry but requires co-ordinated action across a range of ministerial responsibilities, and although mainly urban in location, it is important in rural areas, too. The appropriate development paradigm is one based on sustainable development measured in economic, cultural, social and environmental terms. Only by adopting such a paradigm shift can we recognize the breadth and depth ofthe potential contribution of the creative industries to developing countries.

(Resource : Club of Amsterdam Journal, February 09 Issue 113)


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