Bandung, West Java. The creative economy is an "asset for diplomacy and foreign policy" that could play a role in achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, and contribute to efforts to tackle climate change, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a speech on Tuesday (05/12).
"[The] creative economy of a nation is a reflection of a nation’s soft power and influence," Retno said in a speech delivered by Ridwan Hassan, the minister’s special adviser for economic diplomacy, at the preparatory meeting for the World Conference on Creative Economy (WCCE) in Bandung.
In the case of Indonesia, she added, the creative economy can also be used to promote democracy and the true value of Islam, which is followed by a large majority of the country’s population.
The creative economy includes music, performing arts, television and film, and provides a strategic platform to build understanding and bridge differences, especially across varying ethnicities and cultures.
"I firmly believe in the importance of the international community to come together and discuss, not only the potential of the creative economy, but to share views and experiences on how to effectively harness and manage the creative economy," Retno said.
WCCE will take place next May in Bali, with around 1,500 local and international participants expected to attend.
The growth of the creative economy has mirrored rapid developments in technology, which have also played a role in international relations. Various aspects of diplomatic services are now delivered faster and in more cost-effective ways; aspects that now shape digital diplomacy.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also adapted to this development, including through the online presence on microblogging platform Twitter and launching a mobile app called "Safe Travel."
Emphasizing that the creative economy is "inevitable," Retno touched on how this sector can contribute to other aspects as well.
"The creative economy not only provides economic benefits, but also provides sustainable urban development, encourages entrepreneurship and most importantly contributes to the achievement of the SDGs," Retno said.
The minister added that the environmentally-friendly aspects of the creative industry could drive sustainability and be part of "measures and solutions" in the global effort to address issues of climate change.
In addition, this sector also provides a window of opportunity in the shifting dynamics on employment that are increasingly shifting toward automation and the use of artificial intelligence.
"In the era of globalization, for a country such as Indonesia, the creative economy could potentially be the game changer," Retno said.
While Indonesia's creative industry has seen an exponential growth in the past few years, contributing around 7.3 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and employing nearly 16 million people, there are still challenges ahead.
This includes lack of sufficient technology and infrastructure and financing mechanisms.
Indonesia hopes to foster international cooperation based on equal partnership at the inaugural WCCE next year, especially to push the untapped potentials of the creative economy on international platforms.