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Creative industry could be a bright spot
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China's creative industry could be a bright spot while the country weathers the gloomy global economic situation, said a leading Chinese economist in Beijing on Saturday.

Li Wuwei believes that creative industry, which consists of interlocking industry sectors that focus on creating and exploiting intellectual property products such as music, books, film, and games; economic activities focused on designing, making and selling objects or art works, can generate new value into stockpiled products amid financial turmoil.

"A colorful computer mouse with cartoon pictures would be sold twice as much as one without design." Li cited, adding creativity in the product, which refer to the cartoon pictures, have made added value in it.

Li, who is also vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, the top advisory body, said creative industry is value-oriented instead of focusing on the functions of the products.

Creativity and development in this sector could help drive supporting industry chains and spur the country's economy, he said.

The products realize its new value by enriching people's cultural life and meeting their spiritual demands, he said at the Sixth New Year Forum of International Cultural Industries held in Peking University.

A rise in the product value could mean changes in the color, a design in the structure or appearance, he said.

The development of creative industry is sustainable as it is less-consumptive (in natural resources), Li said.

Creative industry in booming cities has increased sharply in China. In 2007, the growth rate in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen were 19.4, 22.8 and 25.9, respectively.

There were success stories of creative industry development amid economic crisis.

Through the Great Depression in the 1930s, comedian Charlie Chaplin's classic movies City Lights(1931) and Modern Times(1936) were great hits and won huge popularity.

In the Asian Financial Crisis, which gripped much of Asia in 1997, South Korea spurred its online game industry as people turned to entertainment such as video games that could provide cheap and lasting fun.

But the industry can by no means escape the effect of global economic crisis.

Blockbusters that requires millions of investment no longer seem to be practical and investor may have to turn to some cheap comedies that could ease people's mental pressure at bad times, Li said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2009)

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