Historically, creative industries have been more resilient to economic shocks than other sectors of the global economy. In the face of the 2008 financial crisis, global trade declined by 12 percent, yet trade in creative goods and services continued to grow. The COVID-19 epidemic is no exception when it comes to the recovery of the creative economy.

This report focuses on four major creative industries—film and television, gaming, music, and fashion—that have adjusted well to the pandemic and have the potential to rise from the crisis in a position of strength. In most sectors, the pandemic has taken a heavy toll, including in the Indo-Pacific region. Global merchandise is on track to shrink by 12 to 32 percent this year, straining the export-oriented economies of East and Southeast Asia. CSIS spent this past year studying how Australia and India have grown their creative sectors and consider how foreign assistance and development aid tools can help other Indo-Pacific countries build capacity in their creative economies.

This report lays out findings from this research, while also highlighting how Taiwan can operationalise its New Southbound Policy by tapping into the region's potential for the creative sector, and supplementing the United States' efforts to secure a free and open Indo-Pacific. Moreover, this study of creative industries in the Indo-Pacific region also demonstrates the central role of creative industries in driving a more resilient global economic recovery from COVID-19.

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