Former ad man and musician Triawan Munaf has been appointed as the head of the Creative Economy Agency by President Joko Widodo in a ceremony held at the National Palace this afternoon. The Agency will report directly to the president.
The Creative Economy Agency was announced at the end of last year following the president’s decision to narrow the portfolio of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy to just tourism. While the agency is not a government ministry, it will have a number similar affordances and authorities as a ministry aside from creating policies and regulations.
Having been one of the president’s primary election campaign platforms, creative economy is a sector that covers everything from home handicraft to the music and movie industries. It was a significant driving force behind the President’s eventual election win as many of the country’s creative professionals, musicians, filmmakers, and artists voluntarily campaigned on his behalf and getting undecided voters to cast their votes for Joko Widodo.
A significant part of the agency’s responsibility is to ensure Indonesia’s creative assets are properly recognized and the professionals be given a platform on which they can produce great and sustainable work.
Many of the country’s past creative works have been left neglected, unmanaged, or ignored, leading to significant difficulties in documentation, maintenance, and promotion of such works in this digital era. The agency will have a great task ahead of it in bringing all this into the 21st century.
Indonesians in general have yet to fully appreciate intellectual property rights and the government’s efforts in the past have been mostly met with indifference mostly thanks to lack of proper and tight enforcement of the issue and minimal cooperation between relevant authorities.
For the country to have a significant creative output in both numbers and quality, the agency will have to be able to overcome this indifference towards IP rights and work with existing authorities even closer to reduce intellectual property piracy. The newly inaugurated National Collective Management agency which covers music rights will be one of those authorities that the Creative Economy Agency will be working with.
Triawan Munaf’s early tasks will be to select and announce members of his team which are expected to be professionals from the many creative oriented industries such as music, film, digital, game, and advertising.
[header image by Jerry Justianto]