The 4th Investment and Financing Forum for Cultural and Creative Industry
Since Beijing decided to boost its creative industries five years ago, the average annual growth of the industry has been as fast as 21.9 percent 7.5 percentage points higher than Beijing's annual GDP growth rate, or, by any measure, a leading field.
But businesses in the creative industries still need help obtaining financing, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs). At a forum in Beijing yesterday on investment for the industry, the Agricultural Bank of China announced that it is working on a financial package that will remove three of the obstacles faced most by small businesses.
ABC will change the criteria for loans and their grades, as well as work out a better mortgage system.
"The cultural industry is unique," said Zhang Junru, vice-governor of ABC's Beijing branch. "Many assets they own are intangible and hard to value. For example, movie production companies always put their box office profit estimate as the mortgage, but the result may come out the other way."
Zhang said ABC is working on several measures, including bringing in social guarantee companies and using intellectual property as the mortgage. ABC will also bring in insurance companies, social funds, private equity funds and venture capital to help establish equity funds for SMEs, "which have very little at hand when they first start," Zhang said.
Beijing Cultural and Creative Industry Promotion Center, one of the forum's sponsors, will provide ABC with 200 million yuan (US$29.9 million) for its new creative industries finance package. Foreign ventures that are legal and recognized by China can also apply for the new finance package.
Last year, Beijing's creative industries accounted for 12.6 percent of the capital city's GDP, bringing in almost 150 billion yuan (US$22.39 billion). It is Beijing's second most profitable industry, after the finance industry, employing 1.41 million people in more than 50,000 companies.