Leveraging Indonesia’s creative economy

Author:Catherine Jewell
Position:Publications Division, WIPO

Indonesia is South East Asia’s largest economy and one of the world’s most diverse countries – both in terms of its biodiversity and cultural diversity. In 2015, Indonesia’s President Joko Wikodo, set up the Indonesian Agency for the Creative Economy (BEKRAF), a non-ministerial agency with a mandate to develop and coordinate policies to harness the huge potential of Indonesia’s creative economy. Ari Juliano Gema, Deputy Chairman for IPR Facilitation and Regulation at BEKRAF, explains what his organization is doing to help Indonesia’s creative businesses thrive.

How big is Indonesia’s creative sector? What are its core strengths?

Indonesia’s creative economy is very diverse and covers 16 different sub-sectors (see box). Its performance in recent years demonstrates its strong growth potential. In 2017, the sector generated more than 7 percent of GDP – and employed around 15.9 million people. By 2020, we predict it will be worth around IDR 1.924 trillion (approx. USD 130 million).

Indonesia’s creative economy has huge untapped potential but faces a number of challenges. Much of the sector consists of small and medium-sized enterprises that still only market their products locally. Few of them have any knowledge of how intellectual property (IP) rights can add value to their businesses nor do they have access to the financial capital and technologies required to expand their operations.

The diversity of our culture is a core strength, as is the demographic bonus we enjoy. By 2030, we will have 180 million young people ready to join the workforce. Right now, there is a lot of enthusiasm among young people about the creative economy. Many are setting up startups and developing great creative content and creative events. We also have many successful performers, singers and Youtubers.

Tourism also plays a key role in supporting the sector’s development. You could say that tourism is the skin and the creative industries are the muscle and the flesh. When tourists come to Indonesia, they see all the products we make and often want to take them back home. In a move to support tourism, the Government has identified 10 major tourist destinations in Indonesia. BEKRAF is helping these destinations leverage their culture and the potential of the local creative industries to ensure they remain attractive to tourists.

Indonesia's creative economy

Indonesia’s creative economy comprises 16 sub-sectors, including:>

apps and game development;


interior design;


product design;

visual communication design;

movies, animation, and video;



culinary arts;




performing arts;

fine art;

television and radio.

These sub-sectors are expected to make significant contributions to Indonesia’s GDP and to boost exports and employment.

What is BEKRAF’s role?

BEKRAF’s main role is to...

To continue reading