ASEAN businesses need support to internationalise and engage in trade across borders and have a positive impact on economic growth. It is a wellknown that businesses that engage internationally can grow faster, experience higher turnover, adopt technological capabilities, and increase wages. In turn, their competitiveness improves in global value chains as well as in domestic markets.
The creative economy has the potential to not only strengthen the expansion of global value chains, increase digital adoption among creative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), fuel the export of cultural goods and creative services, and foster ownership through local engagement, but also contribute to the overarching goal of sustainable development. The global market for creative goods increased considerably from 436 billion US dollars in 2002 to 964 billion US dollars in 2015 (UNCTAD, 2021).
The Creative Economy Programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD, n.d.-a) describes the creative economy as “the knowledge-based economic activities upon which the ‘creative industries’ are based.”
When COVID-19 first emerged, the speed at which it spread across the globe caught the world completely off-guard, triggering the worst global health crisis of our time.
On 30 January 2020, WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. As of 16 July, almost 200 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed globally, including more than four million deaths.
COVID-19 continues to threaten people’s lives in every aspect, in all corners of the world, with children most impacted. In East Asia and the Pacific, the latest wave of the pandemic rages on while changes dominate the landscape.
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