Regional administrations are better placed than the central government to develop local creative economies, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said in Jakarta on Friday.
“Bandung is one area that is progressively developing its creative economy. They were ahead in developing a blue print for a creative economy long before the central government. Their creative community is in the hundreds,” the minister said at the Indonesia Creative Products Week (PPKI) expo in South Jakarta on Friday.
“The Solo city administration is also ahead in facilitating its creative economy because it believes the sector provides a huge contribution. It works to preserve its arts center so that people can learn music and traditional dance.”
Mari said regional administrations across the country should start documenting their cultural wealth not just to exploit it but also to protect it from being claimed by other countries.
The minister said she was optimistic that within a decade, Indonesia would become a creative economy giant due to the abundance of cultures across the country, strong demand at home and abroad, and the growing youth population.
Mari called for better protection of intellectual property rights to create a supportive environment in Indonesia for young artists and creative entrepreneurs.
She added that she believed Indonesian music and culture could emulate the global success of South Korea’s K-pop and soap operas. “In the next 10 years I hope Indonesia will have I-Pop, our fashion designers can display their work in New York and Indonesian films are shown around the world,” she said.
John Howkins, an English creative economy expert and author of a book on the subject, praised Indonesia for developing its creative economic potential.
“Opportunity for Indonesia to develop its creative economy is wide open. The most important thing is to have ideas and skills to add extra value. Creative economy does not require great capital,” he said.
“There are a lot of companies that use Facebook to market their services and products. There is even a gaming company that started from nothing … and in two years became a multi-million dollar business,” he added.
Mari said that in 2010, the creative economy sector contributed Rp 468 trillion ($48.6 billion) to national gross domestic product and employed 8.6 million people.