Jakarta (ANTARA) - Tourism and creative economy have become the new strengths for Indonesia's economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, a senior economist, who immediately embarked on a new career as managing director of World Bank, stated.

"I believe tourism and the creative economy have become the new strengths for Indonesia's economy," Pangestu stated during a media visit to the Antara News Agency in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Pangestu said she had served as the first Indonesian minister specifically managing the creative economy.

She realized the fact that synergy between the creative economy and tourism held significance.

"I am glad that it has returned as one (tourism and creative economy) since they complement one another. It becomes a new strength," she stated.

Pangestu admitted that as an economist she had learnt a lot while serving as the tourism and creative economy minister.

Since the senior economist viewed capital as financial capital, she had to come up with ways to obtain funds for investment.

Furthermore, she witnessed the growth potential and other factors.

"When I was the tourism and creative economy minister, I realized that we were not just looking for financial capital, but cultural and social capitals that had values," she pointed out.

Pangestu remarked that creative economy was a sector that mainly encompassed how to take a value and get added value from the existing capital.

She cited as an example weaving that had added value, as it was made into something contemporary, not merely used as a sarong but as a creative product of a designer.

"Weaving utilizes the creativity of creative workers. Indonesia has rich values, and I learn those values as the tourism and creative economy minister," Pangestu stated.

While serving as the tourism and creative economy minister, Pangestu extensively toured Indonesia and found that it had diverse cultures, and the cuisines also differed from one district to the other.

Moreover, the fabric, dance forms, and music are varied.

"Our culture is very diverse, and it must be maintained. Our culture should rather be showcased in a museum, and it should be developed. It can develop if there is economic value," she added.

Batik is becoming increasingly popular. Batik look more modern and stylish.

Many people use Batik, and it revives the economy since there are more weavers. Related news: Human resource development main key for creative economy: minister
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Translator: Hanni Sofia, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Suharto
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