Thailand’s creative industries showing steady growth

Creative industries are a promising component of Thailand’s economy and national development strategy, while the government expects those industries to expand by 3.5 percent next year and earn over $100 billion.

Recognizing the value of arts and innovation, the Thai government has established the Creative Economy Agency. It counts 15 sectors in its portfolio that contribute roughly 10 percent to Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP). Agency Chief Apisit Laistrooglai said that the growth of the creative economy was higher than that of total GDP during the past year.

Thailand’s 20-year national strategy named Thailand 4.0 relies on fostering creativity, innovation, and research and development to proper the Kingdom’s economy and society to a more advanced level of development.

Economic planners have said that Thailand’s tourism, food and traditional medicine sectors are a source of soft power for the Kingdom. Other creative industries, however, are also making greater contributions to growth. Among them are software design, animation, gaming and entertainment.

With people spending more time at home, the pandemic spurred greater growth in sales of handicrafts, food and software products, including online games and entertainment, according to Apisit.

People working in software and gaming and entertainment had the highest average incomes among creative industries, while handicraft artisans had the lowest.

Apisit added that creative industries could provide an even larger share of growth with more government support.

“The government sector should be the backbone for soft power development, offering attractive tax incentives and strong promotional campaigns to compete with other countries that ramped up their creative industries recently,” he said.

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