The broad theme of this paper is on the relations between creative economy and economic diplomacy in the Indonesian context. The paper believes that creative economy is a valuable asset in Indonesian economic diplomacy, besides other more established sectors, inter alia trade, investment, tourism, and services. The contribution of creative economy to the economic growth of Indonesia is evident from its share to the GDP growth, workforce absorption, and export balance. Furthermore with the establishment of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (being the first of its kind in the world), creative economy is also in synergy with the tourism sector in strengthening and promoting each other.
This paper recognized that in the venture of advancing creative economy, several challenges exist and if not carefully managed, they will shroud and hinder the creative economy to rise to a higher notch. Indeed there has to be a comprehensive approach to optimize the development of creative economy; including the creative ideas, creative technology, creative industries, and human resources. Furthermore, market penetration and access to financing have to be expanded.
Despite the current challenges that are still faced by the creative economy sector, the opportunity is still promising. The potency of the external market has not been fully utilized. In this regard, greater focus and attention for strategies to penetrate these markets, both in the traditional markets as well other countries as the nontraditional market are crucial. In addition to this, creative economy could play a very important role in promoting national tourism, including local culture and wisdom to the international audience.
On the recommendation part, this paper put forward ideas in the form of thirteen strategies to be considered by policy makers, as well as for diplomats posted in Indonesian Embassies/Consulate Generals abroad in doing their function in the economic and/or socio-culture sections, by emphasizing the synergy between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.