Project to study Brunei’s creative, cultural industries

National 2 minutes, 39 seconds


AN ASSISTANT Professor from Universiti Brunei Darussalam is leading a project to identify and study the economic impact of the country’s creative and cultural industries.

“We want to understand who is working in the creative (and cultural) industries and the impact (the industries have on) Brunei’s economy. (In the study), we will estimate the revenue of these companies and compare its impact on Brunei’s GDP,” said Dr Rui Oliveira Lopes, assistant professor from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) at UBD, during a recent interview.

He said the project aims to understand the role played by the creative and cultural industries.

“A lot of research has been done on creative (and cultural) industries throughout the world by organisations such as the United Nations and the World Bank. They’ve identified the huge potential that cultural and creative industries have in today’s economy, pointing to a huge impact either in terms of revenue or employment in these industries,” said Dr Rui.

“They estimate that one per cent of the world economy comes from the cultural and creative industries. They also found that (about) 29.5 million people are working in creative industries (around the world). Aside from bringing up the economic impact (alone), creative and cultural industries also (benefit) other parallel economies (such as) the clients of these industries as well as the suppliers of the materials for these industries. They are in the middle of other economic sectors.”

The project will be completed in stages, starting with the assessment and identification of existing types of creative and cultural industries in the sultanate as well as the age group of those working in the industries.

“We’re going to identify every business (currently running) in the cultural and creative industries. We’ll also run a census to know how many people are working at these companies and their average age. The worldwide trend (today) is (mostly) the younger generation. We want to see if it’s (the same in Brunei) because we’re concerned about the employment of youth,” said Dr Rui.

Currently, the project has divided the industries into 10 different clusters: architecture; advertising; publishing; music; radio and television; crafts; fashion design; performing arts; visual arts and heritage; and film, video and photography.

Dr Rui said the project team, comprised of students from FASS, will create an online platform before the end of the year where members of these industries can register and submit their information.

“We’ll create a website and use social networks to advertise the project. Everyone that is working in the creative and cultural industries, either individuals or companies, is invited to (our) online platform to register and submit information about their activities,” said Dr Rui, adding that members of the public will also be able to access the platform to look for these services.

Dr Rui said the next stages of the project will include processing the information and establishing goals and strategies to improve the industries. A follow-up study will be held years later to determine whether the study’s recommendations and implementations have contributed to any impact in terms of policy making and the economy.

The Brunei Times