Macau Seminar: EU-Macao Business Opportunities – Unlocking Potential of Cultural and Creative Industries – In the concept of Culture, Business, Innovation
Host / Sponsor: EUBIP / IPIM / IEEM / ECC
Event Time: Fri 19-Oct-2012 2:30 PM
Venue: Sicily Room, The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel

The European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong was delighted to co-host this seminar together with IPIM and IEEM, under the auspices of EUBIP. In her introductory remarks, Ms. Echo Chan, Executive Director of IPIM emphasized the growing importance of this industry in Macau and the flourishing of business opportunities for European companies in this field. She also said in her opening speech that “advanced business experiences in cultural and creative sectors can be shared between countries of the EU and Macau”, with the possibility “to unlock more potential in the collaboration in culture, business and innovation between the two places”. According to Ms. Chan, the two sides have been close trade and investment partners for many years with collaboration in various fields developing gradually and continuing to grow. She said the EU has a very developed creative market and through joint exchanges, Macau’s creative industry can share their advanced experience in entering and thriving in the global market.

Local and European Union leaders in the cultural and creative industries shared their perspectives on the way to unlock the business potential, which Macau is eyeing up as one of the ways to diversify its economy. While asserting the future of creative industry, the experts also highlighted elements hindering developments in this field.

In the seminar, Philippe Kern, Founder and Managing Director of KEA said creative industry is a multi-dimensional process involving different fields of knowledge and walks of society, and in addition to policy cohesion and talents, social tolerance and interactions also play a crucial role.

Jorge Cerveira Pinto, National Co-ordinator of the National Programme “Creatividade Portugal”, stressed that a tailored made program is needed for this industry’s development, which requires the integration of elements of innovation, research and development, social cohesion, education, economic diversification, branding strategy, and other factors, as well as an inspiring and lively social environment.

Similarly, Silvestre Mota, Director of the INOVA Agency said in Portugal’s experience, SMEs in the creative industry field need more support in terms of marketing, financing and management skills. It’s therefore best for SME entrepreneurs to approach each other to share knowledge by realizing their collective efforts.

Talking about the difficulties in CCI development, speakers said both social and business culture, such as respect for intellectual property rights and environmental awareness, are among the key obstacles. Sofia Bobone, a product designer in Macau who is also a partner of Macau Banner Bag, a company that uses recycled materials to manufacture environmentally friendly bags and other products such as wallets and containers, told the seminar that the limited green awareness of society and business leaders is a problem for their campaign that combines bag design, graphic design and other creative elements with environmental concerns; and it would take some time to convince business leaders to embrace the integration of green efforts with artistic elements.

Tavs Jensen Vagnby, founder and owner of International Design House said intellectual property rights protection is a problem in the region. He spoke about his personal experience in suffering a product infringement by a mainland manufacturer as an example of the hindrances to creating an open environment for exchanges and cooperation between cultural and creative industry players. Marielle Lagers of Dutch Design Desk South China introduced the audiences the activity and projects launched with the support of the Dutch government in the region.

The panel debate, moderated by Dr. Sales Marques, President of IEEM enlightened the audience with innovative ideas on how to foster the creative industries in Macau: first of all, the gaming industry encloses a great potential for such industries, as its supporting infrastructure and services could be utilized by creative industries.

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