Speech by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at The Opening of Penang Creative Industry Conference & Showcase (PCICS) on 6th May 2014
The Creative Animation Trigger Aspires to Be a Change-maker in Allowing Penang to Escape the Middle-Income Trap and Become a High-Income Economy.
(SALUTATION LIST TO BE ADVISED)
It is a great pleasure for me to be here with you today at the Penang Creative Industry Conference & Showcase (PCICS).
The event aims to highlight creative industries in Penang and discuss the best means to promote, develop and build an interactive connection between creative industries and end users
Wining the Future by Investing in the Future through Creative Economy
Penang’s economy has shifted from extraction in the 1960s to industrialisation, from the export of raw commodities to manufacturing. In other words, Penang’s economy was factor-driven by relying on basic commodities before being efficiency-driven by relying on manufacturing. Penang needs to be not only efficiency-driven but also innovation-driven in manufacturing, services and even the public sector.
The key to future economic success is not an over-reliance on one sector but to seek convergence of not only the manufacturing sector but also both the services and government sector. Services sector includes not only tourism, medical treatment and education but ICT, shared services & outsourcing (SSO) and creative multimedia content.
Developing the state’s talented young people to move up the value chain is a priority of the State Government. We shall at the same time encourage infrastructure development, especially in education by attracting world-class educational institutions not just at the university-level but also vocational level, and also generate employment opportunities for our youths.
We are helping to build the capacity of the state as it moves toward a knowledge economy by maximizing local content, adding value through integrated industrial parks, and promoting economic diversification and entrepreneurship. The state will facilitate growth in the monetisation of creative multimedia content, helping to create a paradigm shift amongst Penang’s creative community to be more entrepreneurial in their approach to the creative arts.
Importance of Creative Multimedia Content to Economy
There is a huge economic potential in the creative industry. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), global consumer spending for the industry's output including film, television, music, games and educational content was expected to touch US$966 billion (about RM3.17 trillion) in 2016.
Gartner forecasts worldwide video games revenue will exceed US$111 billion in 2015, with $55 billion from Game Consoles. (Gartner, October 2013). 20th Century Fox’s Avatar was the highest-grossing movie on record, having netted US$2.8 billion at worldwide box offices. Disney’s Frozen earned US$1.1 billion in box office worldwide, and made the top-grossing animated film of all time. (Time.com, March 30, 2014)
Malaysian creative industries had recorded RM11.6 billion in revenue in 2010 and contributing 1.5 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). (Min. Communication & Multimedia, 23 January 2014)
In 2011, the biggest revenue contributor was mobile content with RM7.8 billion (58%) and TV RM4.8 billion (36%) while film and gaming were still relatively small with merely RM681 million (5%) and RM150 million (1%). The total revenue of creative multimedia industry for 2011 was RM13.422 Billion and forecasted to reach RM23.847 billion by year 2017 (MDeC)
Penang Creative Industry
We have top badminton and squash players in Penang, and to name a few, we have also Anak Pulau Pinang who have made Penang proud in the creative industry.
The late Tan Sri Datuk Amar P. Ramlee, is the Malaysian movie legend with lifetime achievements in the music and movie industries. The golden era of the Malaysia's movie industry was during his time. He was an iconic Malaysian actor, director, singer, songwriter, composer and movie producer.
Dato’ Jimmo Choo is a London-based Malaysian luxury fashion designer best known for his hand-made women's shoes.
The Alleycats is a band comprise of Penang musicians led by vocalist Datuk David Arumugam. They gained popularity and become a national icon in entertainment industry.
Dato’ Seri Ooi Chean See, is an accomplished pianist based in Bonn, and the founding Resident Conductor of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO). She is among the few women in the classical music world as a conductor of international orchestras.
Malaysia’s highest-grossing domestically made film, taking in RM17 million in box offices, The Journey, featured in The Wall Street Journal, was partially taken shots in Chew Jetty for the Jade Emperor God’s birthday.
A Penang-based production company Image Farm has been successful in the Finas Documentary Festival clinching three awards for producing a documentary ‘The Untold Truth about Supermokh’ and won the Special Jury’s Award for ‘Wira Chingay’.
Currently, we have over ten multimedia super corridor (MSC) status creative players located in Penang.
With us today also is Mr. Wong Cheng Fei rooted from Penang, who is the CEO & Executive Produce of Lemon Sky Games & Animation. Lemon Sky has grown to become one of the leading independent arts and animation studio in the region which been producing high quality CGI art and animation production for international clients such as Nelvana, EA, Microsoft and Bandai Namco.
The focus is to encourage the production of content which is of high quality, innovative and creative, hence, build the foundation for a thriving and lucrative creative multimedia industry to optimise the mature development of the digital network. Fostering creative industries can spur economic growth and create jobs. I hope to propel Penang further up the value chain via its focus on high value-added industries such as creative multimedia content.
BPO-ITO Hub Component of Creative Animation Triggers (CAT)
The creative multimedia industry is making its mark as one of the most sought-after industries in the world, with prospects ranging from post production, special effect studio, publishing, animation, computer games, interactive content, mobile content, applications, and also interactive media. In another words, the creative multimedia industry acts as glue that bonds technology and arts together in harmony.
Penang has the potential to become an animation cluster for Malaysia in the future. Here in Penang we have universities, colleges and academies that train creative multimedia talents. Our talents are also very deep in creativity in areas such as arts, 3D animation and animation touches, not just illustration and artistry.
The role of the Government is important to initiate the creation of a tangible and intangible environment to inspire creativity. The RM3.3 Billion BPO-ITO Hub launched on 1st Mach 2014 is directed towards diversifying the state’s economy and enable the growth of a viable employment sector. To incubate this emerging knowledge cluster, the George Town World Cultural Heritage Enclave has been identified as the centre of creative multimedia development with a total of 100,000 sq feet office space known as Creative Animation Triggers (CAT). The Penang State Government intends to rent the renowned Wisma Yeap Chor Ee heritage building as well as dedicating a land area of 793 sq.m within the George Town world cultural heritage enclave to spark this industry.
Creative Animation Triggers (CAT) aims to enhance capacity, capability and competency in Penang’s creative industry to produce world-class content and ultimately become a global hub for multimedia information and digital content services. Creative Animation Triggers (CAT) will be used to drive entrepreneurship in the creative industry. Creative Animation Triggers (CAT) can act as incubators for budding entrepreneurs in support of state’s efforts to intensify creative innovations.
As the Creative Animation Triggers (CAT) requires talented Penangites, we need to develop and grow the creative multimedia industry to make this a success. These entrepreneurs are creative designers who are innovative and able to effectively conceptualize designs based on the specific needs of customers and organizations. They also possess entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. The combination of these is seen as crucial to the creative industry in the state as it provides a pool of competent and highly skilled creative workforce whom are adept at solving problems by generating ideas, creating visible and viable intellectual properties, and creating opportunities for others.
Patience is a key fundamental principle to make creativity bloom. The atmosphere should encourage and generate free flow of creativity and thinking. The State will expand Penang's cultural horizons and cultivate the creativity. These elements inspire local and global artist communities, attract top talents from everywhere, and that helped shape the topography of the creative community here.
Four years ago I have opened The Penang Speakers' Corner, the first Speakers Corner in Malaysia. In George Town Festival 2012, London-trained Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic was commissioned to paint Mirrors George Town. His work, the “Little Children on A Bicycle” was chosen as one of the top 15 public mural in the world by readers of England’s The Guardian daily. This reflects that Penang has a strong base for creative people to feel at home, and naturally, it cultivates the creative industry.
Penang is an ideal place to develop creative industry as it has a business environment that helps promote innovation and creativity. State policies are focus on incubating cultural creativity in order for this sector to be an active player in the economy and to encourage innovation.
Incubation of this knowledge cluster in the centre of George Town UNESCO world cultural heritage enclave will grow our heritage community, boost the standard of professionalism and quality of the creative content entrepreneurs, and making Penang a creative city. It is for the community’s use to form a central arts district that can inspire creativity and offer an avenue for artists to gather.
Penang is catching up with more developed creative industries in developed nations like United States, South Korea and Japan which have contributed over five per cent to their GDP. (MyCreative, 17 February 2014)
New High-Paying Jobs
It is forecasted that the Creative Animation Triggers (CAT) will bring a unique business model to Penang, and is set to become a rich training ground for building new capabilities, skills and careers.
Get the infrastructure ready will empower and spur the creative activities growth in the state. I hope that these efforts would shift the industry into a higher income bracket level, and thereby, encourage more to consider this industry as a viable career option.
Creative Animation Triggers (CAT) will benefit the industry, especially in producing new intellectual properties, and creative talents while opening doors to higher income job opportunities. The Creative Animation Triggers (CAT) had also laid foundation to help create over 1,000 highly-skilled, knowledge-intensive and high-value job opportunities.
As a result of all these activities and investment, we can only look forward to better, faster options in the creative multimedia landscape, bringing Penang to escape from the middle-income trap.
The Penang Soft Power
This has presented us with opportunities which we must take in order to drive Penang forward based on the Penang blueprint, Penang Paradigm. This is based on the infusion of innovation and creativity into Penang enterprises and most importantly, it will depend on a new breed of Penangites who are creative and innovative.
Penang intends to be a significant player in this market because we believe that we can be a meaningful and substantive contributor via creating impactful content for the world. The management of our creative resources, especially the talent, technology and markets is critical in order for Penang to move beyond that of just being a consumer of content, but to be a net exporter of content and content-related services.
This is timely and more critical that Penang take on an even more active role in the global creative industries. Penang is now working to create and eventually export its culture with the aim of enhancing its own soft power and creating a positive image on the world stage.
I want to see in Penang, groups of people starting creative enterprises. This is in line with the state’s paradigm shift of accelerated development to an international intelligent city. The state has increased its efforts to support Penang’s own native talent to remain competitive and be at the forefront of the creative multimedia industry. Unless we invest and promote such initiatives, the future cannot be won for Penang.
Before ending, let me thank investPenang, and Lemon Sky Animation, MDeC and The One Academy for collaborating and distinguished international and local speakers and moderators for sharing in this event. Thank you!
LIM GUAN ENG