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Copyright-based industries boost Singapore's economy

Singapore’s copyright-based industries contributed significantly to the nation’s economy.

Preliminary findings of a research study, undertaken by the IP Academy in partnership with the Intellectual Property of Singapore (IPOS), found that in 2001, copyright-based industries generated approximately S$8.6 billion in value-added.

This represents 5.6% of Singapore’s GDP. These industries also have a strong impact on Singapore’s workforce, employing a total of 116,800 persons, equivalent to 5.7% of the total employment.

This research project was launched in November 2003, when NUS Consulting was commissioned to conduct the study. It is the first study in the world to adopt a new framework developed by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

This framework classifies copyright-based industries into four categories, based on the degree of copyright activities in the industries’ output of goods or services. These categories are:

1) Core Copyright;
2) Inter-dependent Copyright;
3) Partial Copyright; and
4) Non-dedicated support.

Industries falling within the Core Copyright category made the largest contributions, at 2.8% of GDP and 3.5% of total employment.

A list of the industries under each category is shown in Annex 1. The economic contribution for value added and employment, of each of these categories is shown in Annex 2, Table 1

“Singapore is pleased to be the pioneer country to adopt WIPO’s framework. Recognising the economic spin-offs, it is important that we continue to provide a conducive environment for IP-intensive industries to flourish. Aside from putting in place an internationally benchmarked IP regime, Singapore also needs a prevalent and ingrained culture that respects and rewards creative efforts,” said Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee, Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs, who graced the launch of the Anti-Piracy Cinema Trailer today.

Speaking on the study, Associate Professor Loy Wee Loon, Deputy Director of the IP Academy, who was on the research team of the study said “By adopting WIPO’s framework in this pilot study, Singapore is supporting WIPO’s efforts to standardise the measure of copyright’s contribution to nation’s economies.”

“This study is also the IP Academy’s first research programme, and we hope that its results will be beneficial to Singapore policy-makers, such as IPOS,” Assoc Prof Loy added.

Ms Liew Woon Yin, Director-General of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore remarked “We are indeed excited about the study. It has helped to align our definition of creative industries with WIPO’s recommended framework and provide us a clearer reflection of the direct contributions generated by our local copyright creators.”

The study also revealed that over a 15-year period (1986 to 2001), the core copyright industries grew strongly, at an annual compound growth rate of 12.8%, in terms of nominal value added. This compares well to the 9.6% annual growth of Singapore’s overall economy, over the same period.

Similarly, employment numbers for the core copyright industries grew at an annual compound rate of 6.7%, higher than Singapore’s overall employment at 3.5%. Annex 2, Table 2 reveals details of how the core copyright industries have grown.

These results are the preliminary findings of the study and examine the direct impact of the copyright-based industries on the economy.

The study will continue for another two more months, as NUS Consulting will be examining the indirect contribution of copyright industries to Singapore’s economy, through the multiplier effect. It will also cover foreign trade in copyright activities. Results of the full study will be released once it is completed.

This study reveals that copyright is a powerful economic driver and is growing increasingly relevant. Through this project, the IP Academy and IPOS aim to raise awareness of the growing importance of copyright activities to Singapore’ economic growth and development.


Source: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore Media Release 27 Jul 2004


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28 July 2004