The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its Design Center of the Philippines (Design Center) will be holding the ASEAN Creative Cities Forum and Exhibition (ACCFE) slated on 24-27 April 2017 at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

Through ACCFE, the country aims to promote the lucrative economic potentials of its creative industries, creative clusters, and creative cities as a viable strategy for sustainable and inclusive development in the region.

"This is also a key initiative to usher the membership of at least one Philippine city in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network by 2018 and further support the development of the 2017 Creative Industries Roadmap," highlighted DTI Trade and Investments Promotion Group Undersecretary and ASEAN 2017 Committee on Business and Investment Promotion (CBIP) Chairperson Nora K. Terrado.

The event also aims to establish DTI and its Design Center of the Philippines as key players in the development of the Philippine Creative Industries particularly in the area of design.

“The Philippines is teeming with rich talent in various creative fields, including sectors that are under Design Center’s mandate—product design, fashion, graphic design. It’s about time we recognize this, and harness this pool of creativity towards a movement that will be beneficial to all creative stakeholders,” shares Rhea O. Matute, Executive Director of the Design Center.

Creative economy is an emerging concept that deals with creativity, culture, economics and technology. Vital to this emerging type of economy are goods and services that use creativity and intellectual property as primary inputs.

“To have one Philippine city included in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network would mean that every Filipino’s creative assets transformed into products or services contribute to the country’s development,” added Matute.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recently highlighted the role of creative industries in bringing in economic growth through trade and intellectual property rights activities. Various creative services in the Philippines, such as the animation industry which is gaining traction in the international community, are currently being promoted extensively in the global market.

The ASEAN Creative Cities Forum and Exhibition will feature initiatives of 10 ASEAN member states through various activities that highlight the role of culture and creativity in driving sustainable and inclusive development in the region. Key influencers, advocates, and champions in the field are expected to hold discussions.

At present, there are only four cities from ASEAN member countries that are part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. These include Bandung in Indonesia for Design; Pekalongan in Indonesia for Crafts and Folk Art; Phuket in Thailand for Gastronomy; and Singapore for Design.

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