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Thailand Is Attaching Greater Importance to the Creative Economy
Source: thailand.prd.go.th
Source Date: Saturday, May 08, 2010
Focus: Training Institutions
Country: Thailand
Created: May 10, 2010

Thailand is attaching greater importance to the creative economy, which has creativity and innovation as the main element in the production process. Various organizations have been urged to prepare for the creative economy, which is replacing the mass-production-centered economy.

In the 2010 annual seminar, organized by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) Consulting Center on April 29 at NIDA in Bangkok, the issue of the creative economy was discussed to provide members of various organizations with knowledge and information about the creative economy. Apart from NIDA, speakers were also from the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board and the Office of Knowledge Management and Development.

Participants in the seminar were told that since the 1997 economic crisis, many countries have turned to the creative economy as a model to enhance their competitiveness and bring about economic stability on a sustainable basis. The Creative Economy Report 2008, prepared by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, shows that over the period 2000-2005, international trade in creative goods and services experienced an unprecedented average annual growth rate of 8.7 percent. World exports of creative products were valued at 424.4 billion US dollars in 2005 as compared with 227.5 billion dollars in 1996. Creative services in particular enjoyed rapid export growth – 8.8 percent annually between 1996 and 2005. This positive trend occurred in all regions and is expected to continue into the next decade, assuming that the global demand for creative goods and services continues to rise.

In addition to Thailand, several economies in Asia, such as China, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore, are taking serious steps to promote the creative economy in order to cope with global changes in production and consumption.

In fact, creative economy development is not new in Thailand, as seen from many Thai products and services linked with cultural capital, whether they are cultural tourism or Thai traditional medicine. A number of Thais are also recognized for their expertise in design, architecture, fashion, advertising, and film-making. Several agencies, such as the Department of Intellectual Property, the Department of Export Promotion, the Thailand Creative Design Center under the Office of Knowledge Management and Development, and various educational institutions have contributed to creative economy development.

Even so, the creative economy was not emphasized until the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration launched the “Creative Thailand” policy, together with Creative Thailand Commitments, on 31 August 2009. The Government also established the National Creative Economy Committee and the Subcommittee on Creative Economy to push for the policy. A budget under the “Thailand: Investing from Strength to Strength 2012” program has been allocated to achieve two targets under this policy. One is to develop Thailand into a creative industrial hub of ASEAN, and the other is to increase Thailand’s creative industrial value from 12 to 20 percent of GDP by 2012. Moreover, the Government is prepared to set up the National Creative Economy Agency, a new organization under the Prime Minister’s Office, to handle the mobilization of the creative economy on a full-cycle basis, ranging from working out strategies, developing infrastructure, and providing financial and technical support to promoting marketing.

All the steps constitute a roadmap to push for the success of Thailand’s creative economy.
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