Published in Business Mirror

03 October 2017

THE Creative Economy Council of the Philippines (CECP) aims to turn the country into one of the big players in the global creative-industry scene. The CECP is a participant of the maiden edition of CREATE Philippines.

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry, is the proud organizer of CREATE Philippines, the first-ever international creative-industry trade event in the country.

Happening from October 20 to 22 at the World Trade Center and the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City, CREATE Philippines will showcase the Philippines’s creative and content industries to an international market. It is where creative professionals gather, connect and identify new business ideas and collaborations.

The event will focus on fast-growing creative sectors, such as visual arts and graphic design, advertising content and production, film and animation, digital games and apps and music and the performing arts.

Creative industries all over the world have generated 29.5 million jobs (or 1 percent of the world’s population) in 2015. The visual-arts sector contains the largest number of employees (6.73 million).

The Philippines, a heritage-rich nation, is home to talented individuals in creative sectors, such as fashion, graphic and product design, advertising, animation, architecture, arts and crafts, music and the performing arts and visual arts.

The CECP is working with CREATE Philippines to help propel the country’s creative industry toward global recognition in the coming years.

The CECP, a private think tank strategist, is comprised of members from different creative sectors who all want the Philippines to be in the top creative economies in Asia Pacific by 2030. Founder Paolo Mercado described the CECP members as “the avengers of the creative industry”.

“We’re putting together a group in order to say, ‘Okay, how do we win in the creative economy?’ And by win, I mean how do we win in the national market? We’re setting a high goal,” Mercado said.

Out of 128 economies surveyed in 2016, the Philippines ranked 96th from being 101st in 2015 in terms of creative outputs. Digital marketing and advertising are high-potential markets in the country, thanks to the high number of Filipino Internet users.

In 2016 there were 44 million Filipinos who went online every day, and that percentage is expected to surge to 69.3 million by 2018. Internet access in the Philippines has grown by 500 percent, one of the fastest growth rates in the whole Southeast Asia.

China, India, Japan and South Korea are already in the top 4 creative economies in Asia. Mercado said the Philippines should beat the likes of Indonesia and Singapore for that last, highly coveted spot.

The Philippines’s annual revenue from its video-game industry amounts to $100 million, and the government and the private sector are teaming up to drive that revenue up. For example, the Game Development Association of the Philippines recently participated at Gamescom, Europe’s biggest platform for video games, to promote its services and attract investors from Europe’s $18.4-billion video-gaming industry.

“What we’re contributing to CREATE Philippines is the perspective of the private sector. Encourage them to share their ideas on how to become a powerhouse in terms of the international creative economy,” Mercado said.

He added the CECP aims to prove the Philippines can be a lucrative and competent player in the international creative industry. To do that, the country’s creative marketplace must be certain of what it excels at and develop those skills.

Mercado said the Philippines’s advertising, animation and digital sectors are all promising, and those sectors can be further developed by adding key people that can succeed internationally. The CECP’s goals don’t just stop at chasing individual success stories; they also want to develop business models that will take the Philippines higher up the ladder in the creative sector.

The CECP is not biased toward a particular creative industry. The group is collaborating with all the local creative sectors and unifying them in the process.