Manila to showcase Asean Creative Cities

THE Asean Creative Cities Forum and Exhibition brings together the initiatives of 10 Asean countries to reinforce the credibility of culture and art as a driving force for sustainable development and urban regeneration.

The event will take place at the Bonifacio Global City Art Center, Taguig City, from April 24 to 27.

The Design Center of the Philippines (Design Center) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are spearheading the project by partnering with various local and international organizations to showcase how having a creative economy helps root people in their unique cultural identities which in turn celebrates global cultural diversity.

Building on this creative economy in 2004, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) established the Unesco Creative Cities Network to promote cooperation among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for urban development.

There are currently 116 cities in this network, four of which are from the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) region -- Bandung and Pekalongan in Indonesia, Phuket in Thailand, and Singapore -- that are actively cooperating in placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their local development plans.

“The Asean Creative Cities Forum and Exhibition is a key opportunity to connect with community builders, industry stakeholders, and government representatives for starting a movement committed to capitalizing on the great creative potential of these cities,” said Design Center Executive Director Rhea Matute.

“The Philippines has a very strong chance of being part of the Unesco Creative Cities Network. In fact, through the Asean Creative Cities Forum and Exhibition, we can bring awareness to the global market about the Philippines being a thriving country for creative clusters and hubs, driving our innovation quotient to bring more investors and economic development throughout the country,” said DTI-Trade and Investment Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.

The two-day forum, slated on April 26-27, is set to discuss the creative economy headlined by renowned consultant and expert on creative business Prof. John Howkins.

Howkins is the author of the best-selling book “The Creative Economy,” which tackles how bright, creative ideas can be turned into money.

The first day of the forum will feature panel discussions on Asean success stories on various creative industries.

For the Design sector, panelists are Anon Pairot and Pipat Apiruktanakorn from Thailand, Colin Seah from Singapore, and Kenneth Cobonpue from the Philippines, while the Digital, Media, and Entertainment panel discussion will have ABS-CBN President Carlo Katigbak and Singapore magazine Portfolio managing editor Marc Alamagro as panelists.

To discuss development of world-class talents, BBDO Guerrero chairman David Guerrero, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, and Haymarket Media Asia marketing editor Faaez Samadi are included in the panel.

The second day of talks will feature speakers from the four Unesco creative cities in Southeast Asia, including Bandung Creative City Forum Secretary General Tita Larasati for Bandung, Indonesia-Creative City for Design; Mayor Achmad Alf Arslan Djunaid for Pekalongan, Indonesia-Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts; and BLACK Design artist Jackson Tan.

A panel discussion on creative clusters and hubs is headlined by Creative Consultancy director Dr. Tom Fleming, Thailand Creative and Design Center Deputy Director Kittiratana Pitipanich, Creative Dundee (UK) Founder and Director Gillian Easson, and Think City Malaysia Programme Director Jia-Ping Lee.

The Asean Creative Cities Forum and Exhibition is supported by the Unesco National Commission of the Philippines, Japan Foundation, Tourism Promotions Board, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, League of Cities of the Philippines, British Council, and by media partners Adobo Magazine, ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), Asian Journal, Business Mirror, Click The City, Manila Bulletin, The Manila Times, and The Philippine Star. (PR)