Talking creative economy: partnership opportunities for Yogyakarta and Victoria

creative economy

As one of Indonesia’s cultural and education hubs, Yogyakarta is uniquely placed when it comes to the creative economy.

In October, the Indonesian Consulate General in Melbourne hosted the Creative Economy Forum 2019 – an exploration of all things culture, with attendance by a number of representatives across government, industry and academia.

The Sultan of Yogyakarta Hamengkubuwono X, keynote speaker at the forum, identified the sector as massively important for his region’s future. Without an abundance of natural resources, the Sultan explained, Yogyakarta had to identify and leverage other industries of strength. As President Jokowi stated in 2017: “I believe that in the future the creative and service industries will boost [Yogyakarta’s] economy because they will be dependent on innovative technology…. We will not just develop physical infrastructure [there], but also social and cultural infrastructure.”

The region is also shaped heavily by its young people: 37.5 per cent of the population is under 24 years of age, and almost 20 per cent are students.

See our interview with Hamengkubuwono X:

Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X recognises these strengths, and to further realise the potential of creative economy, the leadership of Yogyakarta have identified two strategies: developing human resources through education and infrastructure, and creating a competitive business climate that is conducive to a creative community.

Technology also plays a central role: “How can our local talent make it on the global stage? [Technology] is how we connect with the world,” says Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X.

And in connecting with global actors, strengthening international links becomes an important component of a creative economy strategy – with the Creative Economy Forum 2019 focusing on opportunities for collaboration between Yogyakarta and Victoria in particular. Though the Sultan envisages this relationship initially being established at the government level, he hopes to build upon this base to create business-to-business links within the private sector. Ultimately, a cooperative network of actors including government, business, academia and community is what will help Yogyakarta’s creative economy to succeed.

But in order to achieve this, he says, we need to continue to build channels of open communication at all levels of society: “What’s important is not only give and take, but building new dynamics in a process of cultural dialogue, cultural transformation.”