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Bekraf: Growing a creative, productive Indonesia

Indonesia · Sep 25, 2018· By Putu Agung Wija Putera


Established to support Indonesia's creative industries as a whole, Bekraf is also an important link between government and the burgeoning startup landscape

The startup ecosystem in Indonesia is closely supervised and supported by the government, perhaps in more obvious ways than in other economies. While there is no central agency or ministry that handles startup-related affairs, one particular agency stands out as a prolific actor in the industry: the Creative Economy Agency (Badan Ekonomi Kreatif), better known as Bekraf.

Bekraf was founded in early 2015, following a decree from President Joko ("Jokowi") Widodo.

“The creative economy will become a pillar of [our] economy. We need a leap to accelerate many different industries, such as agriculture, fishery, IT; they can become something amazing if they are driven by the creative industries,” he said.

As the name suggests, Bekraf was established to create and execute policies that will promote the development of Indonesia’s creative economy. The "creative economy," as Bekraf defines it, includes 16 subsectors, ranging from crafts, the visual and performing arts, to app and games development, advertising and animation.

These creative-economy industries comprised the seventh-largest economic sector in 2016, contributing 7.44% of Indonesia’s total GDP and targeted to rise to 12% in 2019, Bekraf data show.

Bekraf represents the government’s commitment to developing human capital-based industries, as it seeks to move Indonesia's economy higher up the value chain and lessen its dependence on natural resources and manufacturing.

Edited by Bernice Tang

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