Creativity and Economic Development
At the beginning of the 21st century, BusinessWeek published an article named ‘The Creative Economy’ which covers the face of the economy in the new century, saying that the most critical factor for doing business in the new century is the power of ideas. This is because worldwide investors are at risk as “capital” that they hold in their hands is not what is scarce anymore. What is actually needed is “good ideas” for investment.
That is the time when many governments started to pay their interest on the creative economy with the idea that creativity, knowledge and access to information are the key to the growth of the new economic era.
The term “Creative Economy” was introduced in 2001 by John Howkins*. In his book, John Howkins talks about the relationship between creativity and economics. For him, both creativity and economics are not unfamiliar. The new thing is the development of relationship patterns between these two items, and the use of creativity along with economic principles in order to create value and wealth.
Due to the fact that the creative economy is still being studied and developed by governments of several countries, there is no single, unique definition of the term. However, UNCTAD defined it as “an evolving concept based on the potential of "creative assets" to generate socio-economic growth and development. It can foster income generation, job creation and export earnings while promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development”. In addition, UNCTAD loosely defined the creative industries as “the cycle of creation, production and distribution of goods and services that use creativity and intellectual capital as primary inputs”.**
At present, the promotion of the creative industries for developed countries is considered a pivotal strategy to stimulate the economy, the employment and the development of social structure. The creative industries today are the industries with the highest development in the world trade arena as shown by an average growth rate between 2001 and 2005 of 8.7%, and export figure of $424.4 billion (in 2005).
Meanwhile, governments of the developing countries are in the process of starting projects that promote the creative industries. China is worth keeping an eye on as the world’s major manufacturer and exporter of creative products. Although developing countries have necessary raw materials to promote the creative industries, such as cultural diversity and creative talents, the main obstacles preventing them from improving their creative industries are the weak state policies and the inequality of the world trade structure.
It is not to be forgotten that the more the government places importance on developing the creative industries, the more it needs to focus on protection of intellectual property. This is because intellectual property is a key factor in generating and protecting revenue directly gained from the creative industries as Charles Handy once said that “Intelligence is the new form of property”.
*The Creative Economy: How People Make Money From Ideas, John Howkins
** REATIVE ECONOMY REPORT 2008, UNCTAD
Note: BrandAge Magazine sent an apology letter to TCDC as the content provider of this website regarding the copy of the content of this article used in BrandAge Essential, ‘Creative Economy: The Super Economic Driver’ issue without mentioning the source.
Illustrations by http://www.flickr.com/photos/unrelaxeddad/2052929443/sizes/l/
Translated by Siritharin Chareonsiri
- 1 november 2009
- 0 Comment