January 28, 2010

New Study Demonstrates Importance of Intellectual Property Rights to Emerging Economy

‘Creative Industries and Economic Development in Thailand’ Finds IP Responsible for 10% of Thai Economy


WASHINGTON, D.C.—A study released today in Bangkok by the Fiscal Policy Research Institute (FPRI) and the Keenan Institute Asia (K.I. Asia) concluded that 10% of Thailand’s economy is reliant on intellectual property (IP) rights, and with an improved IP climate, this number could grow substantially. Creative Industries and Economic Development in Thailand studied nine of Thailand’s leading creative industries and found that IP is not only a driving economic force in the nation, but it is also a contributor to job growth in other non-IP sectors as well.

“This report clearly demonstrates the impact that creativity can have on a nation’s economy, and how important it is to not only protect intellectual property, but to recognize IP as a job creator and valuable component of our global economy,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center.

The report focused on nine industries: printing and publishing, information technology, wooden furniture, medicines, jewelry, research,movie production, movie theatres, and radio and television. It found that these industries directly contributed about 1 trillion baht ($30 billion) to the economy, amounting to nearly 10% of Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP). The creative industries also provided significant inputs for other industries, especially in the service sector. The study indicated that each additional baht of expenditure in the movie theatre industry induced other industries to create 2.14 baht ($0.06) worth of additional output. The hospital and education sectors were particularly dependent on inputs from the creative industries. To view a copy of this report, please click here.

The study notes that, “Promoting creative industries is a key element in the needed transition to a more advanced economy that can provide higher per capita income and greater quality of life for the Thai people.” It further concludes that a more established value chain would benefit Thailand’s creative industries, and that increased IP enforcement would further promote IP and incentivize an already growing field.

In analyzing the role of IP enforcement and protection within four of the creative industries, the study found that weak IP protection could result in a combined potential loss of 14 billion baht ($423 million), with another 9 billion baht ($272 million) in losses from direct impact on other industries.

Conversely, the study’s findings also indicate that effective IPR protection could generate significant potential increases in revenues for the pharmaceutical industry (6.6 billion baht or $200 million), the movie sector (3.7 billion baht  or $112 million), the IT industry (1.8 billion baht or  $54 million), and the music industry (1.7 billion baht or $51 million).

The report made both industry-specific and more general recommendations for encouraging the development of Thailand’s creative industries. The general recommendations included the following:

  • Private sector firms should implement longer term strategies for product innovation, possibly involving collaboration with universities and research institutes;
  • Implement the “Creative Thailand” policy in a systematic, integrated and understandable manner;
  • Pursue public-private partnerships to support creative industries;
  • Develop creative industries together with knowledge-based industries, since knowledge and creativity are closely linked;
  • Increase government efforts to strengthen creative value chains;
  • Fix weaknesses in the IPR system, including speeding up the patent process and improving enforcement of patents and copyright;
  • Build public understanding that piracy of creative products is a form of theft that is detrimental to the development of the Thai economy;
  • Make it easier for high-level international creative talent to live and work in Thailand and ensure barriers to such talents—such as the difficulties in obtaining Ministry of Labor work permits—are eliminated; and
  • Accelerate implementation of advanced ITC infrastructure such as Wimax and 3G especially important to the IT and entertainment industries


The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

For more information, contact Trinh Nguyen at 202-463-5379.

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