Malaysia’s creative industry needs support to boost contribution to economy

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – Malaysia’s creative industry needs support from various parties to boost its contribution to the economy, which currently stands at 2.0 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the creative industry’s contribution towards the GDP was recorded at about two per cent for the last five years, while exports maintained its contribution at 0.2 per cent and contribution of employment decreased to 5.7 per cent in 2019.

“From the statistics, all the main indicators show a very small contribution of the creative industry towards the Malaysian economy. We believe there is some room for improvement to increase the industry’s share,” he said.

Mohd Uzir said this during his virtual presentation titled ‘Overview of the Arts and Culture Sector of Malaysia and its Future Outlook’ at the Creative Economy Forum 2021: Focus on Arts and Culture today. Meanwhile, the creative industry for employment accounted for 859,900 persons in 2019 of a total Malaysia employment population of 15.1 million persons.

Mohd Uzir said the creative economy continues to make a significant contribution to world trade as world exports of creative goods increased to USD509 billion in 2015 from USD208 billion in 2002, more than double during the 13-year period. Among developing countries that led creative goods exports were China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Turkey, Poland, and Thailand, he said.

Mohd Uzir said Malaysia’s exports of goods for the creative industry in 2019 amounted to MYR220 million with a marginal share of 0.02 per cent, and recorded a significant growth of 24.8 per cent year-on-year.

The top two contributors to exports of goods for the creative industry were printed book brochures and others that contributed 38.2 per cent at MYR84.1 million, and other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs that contributed 28.7 per cent at MYR63.2 million, he said.

Meanwhile, imports of goods for the creative industry in 2019 amounted to MYR367 million with a marginal share of 0.04 per cent, and recorded a double-digit growth of 70.5 per cent compared with negative 1.6 per cent in 2018, said Mohd Uzir.

This was attributable to significant increases in imports of printed book brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter; and paintings, drawings and pastels, he said. “I think we can see how we can turn around (these figures), instead of the creative industry’s imported goods at MYR367 million, maybe we could produce the goods or products ourselves,” he said.

Mohd Uzir said the annual percentage change in the creative industry’s GDP rebounded to 8.3 per cent in 2019 compared to 4.8 per cent in 2018. Meanwhile, the main contributions of the creative industry by classification were the multimedia creative industry with 50.7 per cent, closely followed by culture art creative industry (49.2 per cent).