DTI chief: PHL aims to become top creative economy in Asean by 2030

The Philippines is targeting to become the top creative economy in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by 2030, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

In his speech at the Creative Futures 2022 Conference, Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual highlighted that “The DTI’s Competitiveness and Innovation Group has also developed six roadmaps so far.” 

The Trade chief added that digital advertising, animation, game development, software development, toys and characters, and TV, radio, and print media are all examples. Pascual emphasized that “the roadmaps are essential in getting stakeholders to agree on where to take specific creative industries”. 

Meanwhile, Pascual said the sub-sector roadmaps and whole-of-government coordination efforts contribute to the overall Creative Economy Roadmap’s success. 

“By 2030, the Philippines will be the number one creative economy in Asean in terms of size and value.., as well as the competitiveness and attractiveness of our creative talent and content in international markets,” says the Roadmap. 

Apart from the six roadmaps, Pascual said the Trade department has also been implementing the Creative Economy Strategy of the Philippines, or CREST PH, which takes a holistic approach to “improving the competitiveness of the creative industries, facilitating the development and promotion of creative goods exports, and assisting creative firms in accessing the global market”. 

The implementation of CREST PH plays an important role as the country tackles the challenges of the new normal and helps build a supportive environment for the creative industries to promote integrated industry development for the sector.

The country’s creative economy strategy, the Trade chief said, employs a suite of interventions to address the sector’s “top, binding constraints”. 

“Evidence-based solutions address critical concerns of creative firms, ranging from innovation readiness and technology adoption to digital transformation,” said Pascual on Thursday. 

Moreover, he said, Supplementary solutions include advocacy, data analytics, knowledge management, and competency development. 

To support the 2030 vision of making the Philippines the number one creative economy in Asean, Pascual said the DTI advances concrete policy recommendations. Among these are making creativity a national priority, promoting creative hubs and clusters, and advocating for the development of Philippine Creative Cities.

In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. mentioned the creative industries as one of the priority sectors. The president said in his speech on Monday, “We require an institutionalized creative industry that will advance the interests of its stakeholders—sila na nagbibigay ng kaluluwa at pagkakilanlan sa ating pagka-Pilipino. Protektahan natin sila.” 

The creative industry was not spared from the harsh effects of the pandemic. In fact, the Trade department previously estimated that the pandemic cost the local creative industries 90 percent of their revenue. 

Approximately 61 percent of arts and entertainment companies ceased operations and more than one-fifth of these businesses were permanently closed. 

But the Trade chief said that “we are reclaiming our path to development”. Before the pandemic in 2019, the creative industries employed 4.8 million Filipinos.

Pascual said that as the world approaches the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Philippines is “marching forward to the global stage and going above and beyond to support the digitalization of creative industries”. 

The Trade chief cited data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) Creative Industry 4.0, noting that the value of global creative goods exports was $548 billion in 2019, prior to the pandemic. This amount was equivalent to about 3 percent of the total value of global merchandise exports for the year. 

Further, according to preliminary estimates, global trade in creative services was around $1 trillion in 2019, accounting for 18 percent of total trade in commercial services. 

On May 31,2022, the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act was passed by Congress. 

Citing the Global Innovation Index, the Trade chief noted that the Philippines ranked 10th out of 130 economies in creative goods exports in 2021. “The creative economy’s potential is enormous, and this is what many of you animate and enliven,” said Pascual in his speech on Thursday.