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Diverse Dimensions of Thailand’s Creative Economy
Source: thailand.prd.go.th
Source Date: Saturday, July 17, 2010
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Country: Thailand
Created: Jul 18, 2010

Thailand’s creative economy has diverse dimensions and is involved with many sectors. Almost all ministries in Thailand are connected in some way with the creative economy, which is now being emphasized by the Government in an effort to make the country stand out in the ASEAN market.

Mrs. Puangrat Asvapisit, Director-General of the Department of Intellectual Property, cited the creative economy as a cross-cutting issue, saying that the Government should encourage civil society, non-profit organizations, and the business sector related to creative content to take part in the development of Thailand’s creative economy, as well.

The creative economy is closely linked with tourism and culture. Not all “One Tambon, One Product,” or OTOP, products, are classified as creative items. Some examples of creative OTOP goods include silk brocade cloth from Lamphun and phraewa silk from Kalasin. Traditional Thai massage, which reflects Thai wisdom and is found in various spas, is also considered a creative service.

The creative economy is also involved with products or services concerning innovation and intellectual property. For instance, the combination of communication technology and multimedia may result in “creative content.” The Republic of Korea has been successful in putting content into animation and audiovisual services. It has also enjoyed significant growth in exports of television programs, films, and songs.

Thailand’s ICT Master Plan, 2009-2013, seeks to promote the digital content industry, so that the industry will have a value of 165 billion baht by 2013.

According to a study by the Fiscal Policy Research Institute and the Kenan Institute Asia, China’s creative industries contribution to its economy was relatively low, at 2.50 percent of GDP in 2006. However, this appears to be growing rapidly. In terms of labor share, Thailand’s current figure is slightly higher than that of Singapore 10 years ago. Statistics show that Thailand’s creative industries are growing faster than the rest of the economy, although they still contribute relatively less than the creative industries in developed countries and the number of jobs created by Thailand’s creative industries is still quite low.

The study indicates that international trade figures also show a positive trend. Thailand’s exports of creative goods reached nearly 13 billion US dollars in 2008 and ranked 17th, with a world market share of 1.29 percent. The creative industries in Thailand clearly have the potential to become an important growth engine for Thai exports. They placed Thailand among the world’s top 20 exporters of creative goods.

It is also significant that these creative exports are growing steadily at more than 5 percent a year, indicating strong global demand for Thai creative goods.
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