– Mr. Triawan Munaf, the head of the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) knows how important the sector can become.

He is concerned that many of Indonesia’s e-commerce businesses are underperforming due to inadequate networking and poor presentation of products online.

The Creation of Bekraf in 2015, marks the importance that President Jack Widodo places on the creative economy. His vision is to make Indonesia a world leading power in the sector by 2030; the scope of which includes: game development, product design, photography, advertising, interior design and architecture and others.

The creative economy contributed 7.1 percent to the GDP and employed up to 12 million workers based on 2014 data; roughly the same as finance, real estate, and business services. With some further stimulus, the industry can significantly contribute to job creation and poverty alleviation.

Flagbearer for the creative economy

A shining example of the creative economy at play is the local economy in Kasongan, a village near Yogyakarta. The village is famous for its ceramic industry since the early 1970s, not only manufacturing for the domestic and export market but attracting a steady flow of tourists each year.

“The creative economy in Indonesia has become an important sector which should be developed seriously, said Triwan. China and South Korea are flagbearers for what can be achieved in a short amount of time if the proper ecosystem is built. Indonesia has a great opportunity to follow in their footsteps and to grow this vital and sustainable segment of the economy.

“Entrepreneurs across different industries need to collaborate and share creative ideas to connect a network of creative people,” said Mart Polman, managing director of Lamudi Indonesia. “We often meet with founders from other big companies to see where we can create synergies. For example, we are currently chatting to a big international taxi company about taking our house-hunters to open viewing for special deals. When two companies combine services consumers  really benefit.”

The strengthening of the online economy has created a platform for the rapid development of IT-based start-up businesses in transport like Go-jek or real estate like Lamudi. Thousands of GoJek drivers are now enjoying significantly higher income levels and customers are happy to more choice in the market. Lamudi offers those looking to rent or buy property the opportunity to view thousands of listings online, and this information transparency marks a major shift in who has the power in the market now.

More government support

To make full use of Bekraf the government needs to devise a roadmap and create a strategic operating plan to support all players in the creative economy; star performers should be given exposure in international media, and new legislation should be enacted to bolster the legal foundations of the sector, if those changes are explored, the sector could play an even greater role in the economy going forward. ***

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