Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is indeed my pleasure to welcome you to this Commission side-event on “Modeling Healthy Creative Economy Scene to Build Back Better” organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia and ESCAP.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asia-Pacific region experienced a contraction in GDP growth in 2020, causing rising socio-economic vulnerabilities across member States.
Now, achievement of the SDGs is falling short of the 2020 milestones as highlighted in the recently launched ESCAP Asia and the Pacific SDGs Progress Report 2021 launched in March 2021.
The lesson learnt from the pandemic is the need to build back better with resilience, inclusiveness, and sustainability.
In pursuing regional recovery, the creative economy sector presents opportunities to build back better.
For example, during the pandemic, many people took up artistic hobby, read books, and watched programmes on digital platforms. This helped sustain the creative economy.
However, the SDG dimensions of the creative economy should be explored in greater detail such as its impact on employment, inequalities, education, gender, and youth employment opportunities.
The creative economy industries contribute increasingly to the economy. According to UNCTAD, the global market for creative goods reached $509 billion in 2015 after more than doubling from $208 billion in 2002.
Out of ten developing economies ranked by UNCTAD, nine come from the Asia-Pacific region. The East and South-East Asia exported $228 billion in creative goods alone.
In addition, aside from commercial value, creative economies present opportunities for social value creation – by promoting cultural understanding - as well as diversifying economies.
In closing, I recall my first mission as the Executive Secretary of ESCAP to Jakarta for the launch of the ESCAP-British Council report on “Building an Inclusive and Creative Economy in Indonesia”.
In 2020, the UN adopted a resolution declaring 2021 the “International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development”.
Tabled by Indonesia, it was also backed by many member States in the Asia-Pacific region.
In closing, may I take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia and supporting member States for your leadership on this very important agenda.
ESCAP, along with UN family, stands ready to work with Governments and all stakeholders in advancing the creative economy so that we recover better together from the pandemic in our region and beyond.
I wish you a very successful event.
Thank you very much.