The Government hopes that the development of “Creative Thailand” will become a model for other developing countries trying to boost the creative economy.
Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot, who also serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Creative Thailand Policy, cited the creative economy as an important driver that would enable the country to move toward economic prosperity, without depending on foreign capital and technology.
Mr. Alongkorn said that he shared the view with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva that the creative economy should be a new development model for Thailand. With this model in mind, the Government then launched the Creative Thailand policy on 31 August 2009, aimed at developing Thailand into a creative industry hub in ASEAN. Another objective is to increase the country’s proportion of creative economy value from 12 percent to 20 percent of GDP by the year 2012.
Over the past year and a half, he said, many projects have been carried out, both short- and long-term, to mobilize the Creative Thailand policy. Mr. Alongkorn stated that the First Thailand International Creative Economy Forum, organized by the Ministry of Commerce in November 2010, was the largest seminar on the creative economy in the ASEAN region, with more than 1,500 participants. Owing to the success of this forum, he said, Thailand is now recognized as one of the leading countries mobilizing the new development model of the creative economy.
Mr. Alongkorn pointed out that the effort to move the country forward with the creative economy was a major change in Thai society, saying that this development model is in line with Thai culture and lifestyle. The model also reflects the great potential of the country to stand on its own feet. Moreover, it is also in line with the “Sufficiency Economy” philosophy, initiated and developed by His Majesty the King.
The Department of Intellectual Property, under the Ministry of Commerce, will implement nine projects in response to the Creative Thailand policy. It will spend 705 million baht on the nine projects under the “Thailand: Investing from Strength to Strength 2012,” or “Thai Khem Khaeng,” program. The nine projects include the “Creative King,” Creative Film on Thai History and Culture, Creative City Prototypes, Creative Economy Promotion, Creative Economy Awareness, New Image of Thai Products Going International, National Seminar and Workshop on Creative Economy, Learning Promotion on Creative Economy for Children and Youth, and Enhancing Potential and Competitiveness in Product Designs for 15 Creative Industries.
Since Japan is one of the countries with great potential for the creative economy, Mr. Alongkorn revealed that the Thailand Creative Economy Agency and Japan’s Osaka City University have agreed to cooperate in research and development to assist the Creative City Prototype project, under which 10 provinces across Thailand will be selected as prototypes for development as creative cities.