Government urged to increase creative industry funding

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jul 19, 2016 - Page 11

The government should increase funding for the creative industry as it might evolve into the next industrial bright spot and economic growth driver in the next few years, aided by the fast-growing use and penetration of mobile devices, PricewaterhouseCoopers Taiwan said yesterday.

The government can learn a lesson from South Korea, which has spent the equivalent of NT$3 billion (US$93.7 million) to boost its creative industry, almost double the NT$1.7 billion spent in Taiwan, PricewaterhouseCoopers Taiwan partner Patrick Tuan (段士良) said.

South Korea’s aggressive funding came after the realization that the US movie Jurassic Park generated more revenue than the sale of 1.5 million cars by Hyundai Motor Co.

That trend explains why Walt Disney Co reported about NT$1.7 trillion in revenue last year, almost the Taiwanese fiscal budget, Tuan said.

Of the more than 60,000 firms in the Taiwanese creative industry, only 968 have capital of more than NT$50 million and dozens are listed on local bourses, the report said.

That means most firms are struggling to turn their ideas into a profitable business because small, unlisted firms have difficulty securing funds or credit, the report said.

The government is in a good position to groom an industry where the young will increasingly dominate the market through online platforms as handheld devices gain popularity, PricewaterhouseCoopers Taiwan said.

The nation also has a competitive edge in software development and data analysis, the report said.

A majority of Taiwanese, 51 percent, own smartphones, the highest penetration rate in the Asia-Pacific region, the report said, citing a Google survey.

In addition, more than 80 percent of Taiwanese take their smartphone with them when they go out, making them the most dependent on mobile devices in the region.

The figures lend support to the development of online entertainment and media businesses in which contents plays a critical role, PricewaterhouseCoopers Taiwan said.