What Roles Can the Creative Industry Play Under Joko Widodo’s Presidency?

Joko Widodo has been sworn in as the seventh president of Indonesia with running mate Jusuf Kalla as his vice president. Given their election platform and promises, the next five years are shaping up to be a most different era for Indonesia as the new government plans to refocus its development efforts towards maritime and service based economy. What does this mean for the creative industry?

Under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the the creative industry was given special attention by having it elevated to ministerial level. In President Yudhoyono’s first term, Mari Elka Pangestu as Minister of Trade held a portfolio which specialized in creative economy, covering a wide range of fields including film, broadcast media, advertising, arts, fashion, research, design, music, publishing, and many more.

During Yudhoyono’s second term, the minister was reassigned as minister for tourism but she brought the creative economy portfolio along and focused much of her attention on this sector. However, despite the minister’s efforts, President Widodo said during his election campaign that the government has been mostly absent from this industry.

The new president mentioned during a session with Indonesian Netizens in June that the government failed to acknowledged many aspects of the creative industry, failing to recognize the efforts of Indonesia’s youth in creating electronic games or their participation in global competitions. Much of this was achieved individually. President Widodo in June said, “the creative industry has been weakened due to lack of support”.

Among the ten major industries that contribute to the national GDP, the creative industry contributed roughly 7%, putting it in 7th place, according to musician and activist Abdee Negara in June. With the new stated focus on the creative sector, it’s reasonable to expect that the government will build upon the base which Mari Pangestu had laid out for the past ten years and push this contribution to a higher level.

To better prepare the industry for this renewed attention, the Jakarta chapter of the Indonesian Association of Advertising Companies will be holding a seminar on the economic outlook under the new government, with Citibank Indonesia’s country economist Helmi Arman as the speaker. This seminar and discussion will be held tomorrow, 21 October, at XXI Lounge, Plaza Senayan from 2 pm.

indo economic outlook poster