Thailand's Creative Economy
Bangkok Post, 10/26/09

"The 'creative economy' has recently become a much-used buzzword in discussing Thailand's development. But how many of the country's 68 million people really know what it means? How can the creative economy benefit Thailand? And what will the government do to support its growth?

Dusit Nontanakorn, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the government must first clearly define what the creative economy is before it can move ahead with any related programs or initiatives.

'Today, anyone who uses the phrase "creative economy" sounds cool, but without a thorough understanding of its meaning it is nothing but a useless term,' he said. 'What we need is mutual understanding. Once we have that we will be mutually aware of how the creative economy can be developed, whether it be for a new product launch, a rebranding, or new production process relative to culture, food, or spas.'

The United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (Unctad) defines 'creative economy' in its Creative Economy Report 2008 as an evolving concept based on creative assets potentially generating economic growth and development:

– It can foster income generation, job creation, and export earnings while promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development;

– It embraces economic, cultural and social aspects interacting with technology, intellectual property, and tourism objectives;

– It is a set of knowledge-based economic activities with a development dimension and cross-cutting linkages at macro and micro levels to the overall economy;

– It is a feasible development option calling for innovative multidisciplinary policy responses and interministerial action; and

– Creative industries lie at the heart of the creative economy."

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