State Ministry of Regional Cooperation launches Creative Economy Program


The State Ministry of Regional Cooperation has launched a ‘Creative Economy Program’ with the view towards contributing to the country’s economy and promoting Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage.

The ‘creative economy’ is a rapidly expanding segment of the global economy and has made a crucial contribution towards generating employment, income and exports. Based on creativity, it encompasses all artistic, innovative and cultural products and services. It is also conducive to sustainable development.

Recognizing the contribution that regional cooperation could make towards developing the creative economy in Sri Lanka, State Minister of Regional Cooperation, Tharaka Balasuriya launched two inaugural initiatives under the ‘Creative Economy Programme’ with Indonesia. The initiatives focus on the development of the batik industry in Sri Lanka and the promotion of the country’s unique architectural heritage.

The project to enhance Sri Lankan batiks has been launched in collaboration with the State Ministry of Batik, Fabric and Local Apparel Products, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Indonesia, the private sector batik manufacturers and SMESCO of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperatives of Indonesia.

The objective of this initiative is to obtain Indonesian expertise to introduce new techniques to improve and develop the industry and to promote Sri Lanka’s batik products abroad. This initiative will also serve to generate employment, particularly to rural women and contribute to the export sector.

The second initiative seeks to promote Sri Lanka’s architectural heritage abroad. In this regard, a tour by some of Indonesia’s most prominent architects is planned to study the country’s architecture, including the renowned works of Geoffrey Bawa and his ‘tropical modernism’ style. This initiative, while enhancing cultural cooperation, also seeks to build linkages between the architecture fraternities of the two countries and promote tourism.

Virtual discussions were held last week between Sri Lanka and Indonesia on these two initiatives. CEO of SMESCO Indonesia, Leonard Theosobrata, as well as leading Indonesian architects participated at the event.

State Minister of Regional Cooperation – Tharaka Balasuriya, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Indonesia – Yasoja Gunasekera, Director General of the State Ministry of Regional Cooperation – Savitri Panabokke and representatives from the batik and architecture fields were among those who participated at the meeting.