CREATIVE INDUSTRY FOR A RESILIENT ECONOMY
Leveraging the artistic skills and passionate ingenuity of the Thai people as well as the country’s cultural heritage, the Thai government expects the creative industry to play a greater role in Thailand’s economic development in all industries.
The creative industry is one of the areas highlighted for development by the Thai government due to its potential to enhance the international recognition and economic value of the country. As digital technologies continue to facilitate access to distinctive Thai content and products for global audiences from all over the world, the unique skills, designs and passion of Thai artists are increasingly recognized internationally.
The creative industry is also championed by the Thai government as an effective bridge between the traditional and the contemporary that will allow the country to build on its intellectual capital and cultural heritage through the application of new technologies and innovations. Creativity is also seen as fundamental to distinguish Thai brands on the world stage and drive the service sector to increase the development of the country.
Based on the definition of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Thailand’s creative industry covers a wide range of business activities such as arts and crafts, advertising, architecture, design , fashion, film, video, photography, music, performing arts, publishing, research and development, software, computer games, electronic publishing and television / radio.
He then encouraged their development by creating a conducive environment, promoting a research and business ecosystem and multiplying opportunities for new entrepreneurs thanks to the collaboration of all the agencies.
The Creative Economy Agency (CEA), the agency responsible for promoting the creative economy, has identified around fifteen companies within the creative industry, in accordance with the definitions put forward at the Conference of Nations. United Nations on Trade and Development. Data compiled by the CEA revealed that these companies accounted for nearly 10% of the country’s gross domestic product and created jobs for around 2% of the total population.
The CEA also found that the creative industry accounted for 4% of Thailand’s exports in 2019, with a total value of around US $ 10 billion. These export items include design products (US $ 6.5 billion), visual arts (US $ 1.2 billion) and arts and crafts (US $ 1 billion).
Digital content skills attract global audiences
As the Thai population has become accustomed to digital content and tools, the skills of Thai digital content creators and designers have reached a level that has been recognized by global animation projects. Thai digital content creators and designers have been given the opportunity to participate in the pre-production, production and post-production stages of international projects from the United States and Asian countries. At the same time, the animation work of many local animation companies has also been recognized internationally.
A study by the Ministry of Commerce has shown that the key competitiveness of the local digital content industry lies in the skills, discipline and service-oriented attitude of hosts, designers and production teams, as well as in the rich creativity and cultural wisdom that have long made the country one of Asia’s most profitable service providers.
One of the government’s target industries for promotion is the digital content industry. The government aims to make Thailand a regional hub for intellectual property owners and service providers under short-term multinational company outsourcing contracts. To support this, the Ministry of Commerce has implemented programs to improve recognition of Thai digital content makers and creators internationally, while establishing business matchmaking programs for animation, games, characters and online learning.
At the same time, a study by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) showed that Thailand’s digital content industry, including animation, games and characters, and big data, grew by 10% between 2019. and 2020, to reach a value of US $ 1 billion1. The study also showed that the digital content industry is expected to accelerate in 2021, as Thai consumers make more use of online tools in their daily routines and entertainment. With growing demand both locally and globally for games, online learning, and streaming entertainment content during the COVID-19 pandemic, new opportunities are constantly being created for Thai creators and designers.
Thailand’s vibrant digital content industry includes more than 100 registered animation and game companies, of which 60% are animation companies and 40% are game companies. The industry is also supported by around 1,000 freelancers.
Resilient arts and crafts exports
As global consumers increase their spending on craft and eco-friendly products, the Support Arts and Crafts International Center of Thailand (SACICT) 2 expects Thai craft exports to rebound in 2021. This outlook is also in line with the country’s overall export prospects through improved international trade.
Overall, in the first quarter of 2021, Thailand’s total handicraft exports fell 8% to US $ 2 billion. However, Thai handicrafts exports rebounded by around 12% year-on-year in March to US $ 0.7 billion after falling 12% and 20% in January and February, respectively.
The products with the highest export value were silver and gold handicrafts, with a combined value of US $ 0.3 billion, up 11% year-on-year from March of l ‘last year. The value of exports of handicrafts was US $ 0.2 billion, up 21.4%, while ceramic products were worth US $ 16 million, up 9.48%. The largest export market was the United States, followed by Japan, Germany, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom in descending order.
The development of handicrafts at the city level and the collaboration between related sectors in the targeted towns, which is encouraged by the related agencies, will play a key role in encouraging the growth of handicrafts enterprises. A CEA study on the Chiang Mai Handicraft Industry found that 80% of Chiang Mai residents prefer to buy handicrafts in physical places such as markets or arts and crafts stores, as opposed to online channels.
In view of the important contributions that the handicraft industries make to income and employment in local communities, the Thai government has stepped up its support to the handicraft market. To achieve this, SACICT will focus on applying new ideas and techniques to traditional and cultural products with the aim of increasing acceptance among local consumers, creating a sense of pride in the national heritage and contributing to development. sustainable.
The Ministry of Commerce has developed a plan to make Thailand the “ASEAN Arts and Crafts Center” by emphasizing the country’s attractive ecosystem for trade and investment in the craftsmanship and materials.
The Ministry of Commerce will also promote the standard certification of Thai handicrafts for export as well as the adoption of environmentally friendly processes and zero waste practices. To stimulate innovations in these areas and gain global acceptance, SACICT works in collaboration with the Thailand Textile Institute3, the National Nanotechnology Center4 and the Central Laboratory (Thailand) Co. Ltd. 5
Tourism and the creative economy under BCG Focus
Tourism and the creative industry are included in the Thai government’s development plan for bio-circular-green economy, with the aim of developing sustainable tourism, creating a tourism destination management system, preserving the environment and to advance high-value tourism such as wellness tourism. , culinary tourism, ecotourism, cultural tourism and sports tourism.
As part of the BCG Economy, the country plans to promote tourism in the least visited cities through the development of transport networks and promotion with digital tools. The creative industry is expected to benefit greatly from cultural tourism.
Thailand also plans to promote medical and wellness tourism to those looking for extended stay vacations in Thailand. Emphasis will be placed on safe and healthy food, convenient and high-quality accommodation equipped with communication infrastructure and health promotion activities, as well as sports and recreational activities designed to help visitors discover the local communities and culture.
A CEA study showed that the cultural tourism sector generates around 28% of the income of the creative economy, followed by the Thai food industry (19%), advertising (15%), the fashion industry ( 13%) and design (9%) in 2019.
1 https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/2159579 /bidc-bullish-on-digital-content-big-data
2 Handicrafts exports on the verge of recovery (bangkokpost.com)