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KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 -- The creative industry in Malaysia has the potential to generate new sources of income and will be able to help the country build a more dynamic economy, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad.
Noraini said according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the creative industry sector had contributed about RM29.4 billion to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019.
“In the same year, the industry also provided employment opportunities to 859,900 individuals nationwide.
On average, the creative industry in developed countries contribute between one to five per cent to the nation’s GDP, " she said in her speech during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Universiti Putra Malaysia and National Book Development Foundation (YPBN), here today.
The event also saw the launch of the 'Writers Club' and the pre-launch of two new books published by UPM Publisher in conjunction with the National Creative Industry Conference 2021 taking place from April 7 to 9.
Also present was UPM deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof Datuk Dr Zulkifli Idrus.
Noraini said the National Creative Industry Policy refers the creative industry as activities that are based on an individual or group’s creativity, innovation and technology whereby the talent is exploited and generated to create wealth for the country.
She said writers and publishers need to be daring enough to rise to the challenge by introducing creative and innovative ideas to advance further in the creative writing publishing arena.
She said the selection of Kuala Lumpur as World Book Capital was an opportunity that should be well utilised in an effort to make Malaysians a knowledge-based generation.
"Efforts to strengthen the creative industry and book industry in the country must be in line with the aspiration to build a civilised and competitive Malaysian society.
"This can be achieved through a knowledge sharing, writing and reading culture," she said
Meanwhile, Noraini said the conference coincided with the Kuala Lumpur World Book Capital 2020 programme which focuses on four themes: reading in all its forms, development of the book industry infrastructure, inclusiveness and digital accessibility, and empowerment of children through reading.
"As we strive to increase the country's literacy rate in a more dominant digital world, the effort towards completing the Kuala Lumpur World Book Capital 2020 has become more challenging.
She said the effort which requires high creativity and innovation should be implemented continuously, with the involvement of people of different ages and field of education adding that the love for knowledge culture is something that must be sustained.