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Wed, 12/03/2008 11:08 AM  |  Bali

Creative industry thinkers and practitioners creatively concluded at the end of a two-day seminar that there was a need to develop Bali as Indonesia’s global brand — in the creative sector.

Andi S. Boediman, a creative industry evangelist, titled his presentation, “What is Bali?”. His answer to the question paved the way for a discussion on the possibility of transforming the resort island into something more than just a tourist destination.

“Bali has such a strong cultural and religious heritage. People come here, love it and stay. But what we need is more than just Bali as a destination but Bali as a brand,” Andi said.

In his eyes, Bali has the potential to become the global brand for the country’s creative industry.

“In spite of its modernism, Bali has managed to maintain its rich, local heritage.”

With so many people staying access to foreign markets is another opportunity that should not be squandered, he added. “The more we export, the more we have to make it known from where the product actually came from.”

He then drew comparisons to Italy as the iconic brand that stood for quality leather shoes or Cannes in France that has became the embodiment of the global film industry.

Bali has cultural rituals such as fashion week, film festivals and similar events.

“They could be great opportunities to position Bali not only as a tourist destination but as the Southeast Asian Getaway for all sorts of interests,” Andi said.

The idea to set up the “Made in Bali” label as a way to develop the island into a global brand has became a hot topic in recent times but how to implement the idea has been subject to debate.

“We cannot instantly come up with a new brand that is called *Made in Bali*. We first must think about quality, uniqueness and character of Bali products. This is our responsibility,” initiator of Bali Creative Community, Arief Budiman said.

Arief and fellow local players are working on a brand study and a showcase model for the idea. The legal aspects of the Bali brand have yet to be discussed at a government level.

The recently founded Bali Creative Community, which also organized the Bali Creative Power 2008 gathering held at Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel on Nov. 29 to 30, would like to take over as advisors to the process.

Christian Fritz, founder of the Bali Export Development Organization (BEDO) is convinced of the idea.

“There could be nothing better than Bali’s own brand, I just hope that it can be accomplished on a national level,” he said.

A jewelry designer, Stephanie Vermaas, shared a similar sentiment.

“If tourism keeps growing as it did in 2007, people will be proud to purchase goods that are produced in Bali and even produce their own things on the island, which will be great for the economy,” she said.

Players from a broad spectrum of the creative industry, including architects, designers, musicians, builders and publishers attended the meeting which was aimed at empowering them to move forward as one, unified force.

“We want creative people living in Bali to look across the borders of their own industries and to exchange knowledge,” Arief said.

With its fast-growing tourism, expanding trade, people moving in and foreign nationals staying, Bali has become the center of global attention for many interests, he said. — JP/Claudia Sardi

Source: The Jakarta Post