Chhimi Dema

Bhutanese artists and creators can now look forward to more support in their creative endeavours with the launch of the Creative Industries Export Strategy 2021-2025.

The strategy aims to develop a policy to support creative sector development and increase the involvement of the Bhutanese in creative industries through education and entrepreneurship.

Also, the strategy aims to increase the influence and access to domestic and international markets.

The strategy was developed in collaboration between the economic affairs ministry and the International Trade Centre, a multilateral agency that has a joint mandate with the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations through the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Department of Intellectual Property’s director-general, Kinley T Wangchuk, said that the creative industry, if nurtured and harnessed strategically, could help not only to diversify the market and add value to local products, but could also create jobs and help pump the economy.

He said: “The creative industries are among the most diverse, dynamic sectors, providing new opportunities for the developing countries to leapfrog in emerging high growth areas of the global economy.”

The strategy includes a five-year plan of action with a set of activities to create a foundation for the growth of the three priority subsectors (film, music, and graphic design).  Software development will serve as a supporting function for the three priority subsectors.

According to the strategy, some of the activities to augment the recognised subsectors are to establish a creative industry, a managing unit, open schools specialised in modern music, film production and graphic design, and participate in creative trade fairs and festivals to showcase creative projects.

The ministry’s chief planning officer, Sonam Tashi, said that the next step would be to implement the recommendations of the report and assess how the ministry can promote the creative industries in the country.

“While we talk about innovation and creativity, we aren’t undermining or trying to replace the traditional art and culture,” Sonam Dorji said. “It’s about how to maintain the Bhutanese identity while at the same time promoting innovation in society for exports and domestic entertainment market.”