The following is a press release, their opinions and statements are their own.
The Creative Economy Agency (Public Organization) or CEA has unveiled three measures to support freelancers and entrepreneurs in 15 creative industries that have been hard-hit by COVID-19. Implemented under its “CEA – COVID-19 Relief Programs”, these measures aim to ease adverse impacts on working people and businesses. CEA, moreover, goes ahead with its CEA Creative Industries project so as to develop creative sectors as S-Curve industries and pave way for them to fly high.
Mr. Apisit Laistrooglai, Executive Director of the Creative Economy Agency (Public Organization), says COVID-19 has persisted since early 2020 with unprecedented severe impacts on 15 creative industries of Thailand. Due to the pandemic, creative industries’ growth is disrupted. CEA statistics show creative businesses’ total revenue dropped by 26 per cent to Bt1.49 trillion in 2020 when compared with the previous year. Thailand’s creative industries, in all, sustained a net loss of Bt17.4 billion last year.
As the key driver of Thailand’s creative economy, CEA has urgently adjusted its work approach across its organization and come up with “CEA – COVID-19 Relief Programs”. Implemented from early 2020 till now, these programs have curbed impacts on hard-hit creative industries by directly hiring many creators and helping businesses adjust themselves to changing situations. CEA’s internal overhaul has also taken place so as to revamp work processes organization-wide from policy formulation, to budget allocation, and to a stronger emphasis on online services that promise to help creative businesses in a timely manner.
“CEA – COVID-19 Relief Programs” has three main measures namely:
- The shift toward digital services and activities for the purpose of building creative businesses’ /creators’ capacities through the four followings:
- Turning TCDC Resource Center into an online platform so that users can fast and conveniently access its content anytime. Archives cover information, exhibitions, and digital data of events held in the past.
- Developing free online courses to update the skills of creative businesses under “CEA Online Academy”. Designed to upskill and reskill entrepreneurs, these courses have already attracted more than 35,000 participants. At present, there have been more than 35 online courses in https://academy.cea.or.th.
- Implementing “Creative Business Consultation Program”. Under the program, specialists from various fields have taken turns providing counseling services to entrepreneurs who want to develop or expand business opportunities. Counseling covers business strategies, finance, branding, laws, designs, innovation-centric thinking process, and adaptability in the face of the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak. The program has offered free counseling since early 2020 so as to reduce entrepreneurs’ expense burden and enable them to adjust and sail through the crisis.
- Creating CONNECT by CEA: Creator’s Marketplace campaign. This “marketplace” provides a forum for creators, freelancers, and studios to showcase their work. Prospective customers can then browse through this online marketplace to contact the talents of their choice. Joining this marketplace are creators and creative businesses from five industries. To date, more than 25 creators have got jobs via this campaign.
- Special Project in Support of Creative Industries namely “CEA VACCINE Builds …Immunity for Thai Economy”
To assist entrepreneurs, CEA allocated more than Bt15 million for the goal of stimulating demand. Under this project, CEA had created jobs for more than 1,200 freelancers and SMEs between March and August 2020 via the three following:
- “Fight COVID with Vitamins” activities: They directly created jobs for 373 professionals in six fields including musicians, writers, translators, and photographers;
- “Boost Immunity” activities: Conducted through collaboration with online marketplaces such as Lazada, JD Central, PINKOI, and SIFT & PICK, these activities promoted the sales of about 890 SMEs.
- “Shield against Disease” activities: CEA together with its partners from creative industries extended support to artists, singers, musicians, and actors/actresses via these activities. For example, CEA Live House (Year 1) – a collaboration with ProPlugin, Live4 Viva, Rock Planet, and JOOX – offered spaces for artists and singers to exhibit their works free of charge. CEA Live House (Year 2), meanwhile, provided a studio for artists to record their live performances or to produce their work that can be broadcast via the artists’ own channels as well as YouTube channel: Creative Economy Agency.
- Endorsing Innovation, Technology & Design Thinking for Better Solutions, because it enables organizers and visitors to safely use public facilities. These solutions are in various forms. Operating as tools or platforms, they are:
- CROWD CHECK: This tool calculates density in each zone so that visitors can plan their visit safely and avoid big crowds. Calculation results are shown on https://crowdcheck.info/ and https://www.bangkokdesignweek.com/guide/101286.
- Virtual Design Festival: This platform presents 360° Exhibition Tours. The experiences are immersive. Visitors will feel like they have physically explored over 15 exhibitions through this platform. With absolute social-distancing measures, visitors are perfectly safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- HackVax 2021: A team of innovators, designers, communicators, doctors, and researchers who studied at the US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology jointly developed a “vaccination process” to ensure streamlined and fast delivery of services. Based on this prototype, CEA partnered with HackVax.org and Khon Kaen authorities in implementing pilot vaccination services in Khon Kaen province under “Khon Kaen: Getting Jabbed!” project. This prototype has been promoted for use across the nation too via https://hackvax.org/open-design-1/ as CEA plays a role in bringing the country out of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Covid-19 Innovation Showcase: CEA has partnered with FabCafe Bangkok in the development and production of various prototypes namely SWAB SHIELD, AEROSOL BOX, UVC-decontamination, HEPA H-14, PAPR HEAD SUIT, and COVID BED. Interested persons may download CAD (Open source) of these prototypes for upgrades or production free of charge via https://www.cea.or.th/th/single-project/covid-19-innovation-project.
In addition to delivering relief to entrepreneurs and creators in the creative industries during the COVID-19 crisis, CEA has also stepped up its support for these industries via “CEA Creative Industries 2021” which has been held between August and September 2021. Under this initiative, CEA has served as a key coordinator in bringing networks from 15 creative industries together. Among its partners are the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT), the Advertising Association of Thailand, and the Thai Animation and Computer Graphic Association.
“CEA Creative Industries 2021” has driven Thailand’s creative industries via various events such as contests and presentations of awards to professionals in various fields of the industries, seminars, workshops, the development of databases for each creative industry, and VDO-content production. Aiming to showcase the solid potential of value-adding creative industries, the initiative has encouraged creative businesses to introduce their works to the market on a continuous basis through strong networks and collaborations. For more information, browse to www.cea.or.th and FB: Creative Economy Agency.