Creativity and Culture-Linked Industries are More Resilient to Economic Crisis

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Creative Economy Report 2010 shows that creative industries offer untapped opportunities for growth

Creative industries have shown more resilience to the impact of the global economic crisis than traditional manufacturing industries, according to the Creative Economy Report 2010 launched, today, at the United Nations.

Global exports of creative goods and services—ideas and creativity-centred industries such as arts and crafts, audiovisuals, books, design, films, music, new media, visual and performing arts— have more than doubled from 2002 to 2008, reaching nearly US$600 billion, according to the Report.

Despite the 12 percent decline in global commerce in 2008, world trade of creative goods and services continued to expand with an average annual growth rate of 14 percent.

The Report entitled Creative Economy: A Feasible Development Option argues that creativity-centred industries are a source of inclusive economic growth.

“If well nurtured, the creative economy can be a source of socio-economic growth, jobs, innovation, and trade, while at the same time contributing to social inclusion, cultural diversity, and sustainable human development,” said Rebeca Grynspan, Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) during the launch.

“New technologies and the internet give developing countries a feasible option to promote their creativity and entrepreneurship in the global market,” said Edna dos Santos-Duisenberg, Chief of Creative Economy and Industries Programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The UNCTAD-UNDP publication showcases more than 40 concrete examples ranging from the fashion industry in Africa and Asia to soap operas in Mexico and Brazil, and from the film industry in India, to reggae in Jamaica and the carnival in Brazil and the Caribbean. Such industries in developing countries have been promoting trade, while often providing training and employment to the poor.

For example, Nigeria’s US$2.75 billion film industry is the third largest in the world, following the US and India. Nigeria’s ‘Nollywood’ produces more than 1,000 films annually, creating thousands of jobs and is the country’s second most important industry after oil. In recognition of its importance, the Government has invested in the film industry, reforming policies and providing training to promote film production and distribution.

The 2010 Creative Economy Report concludes with 10 policy recommendations on how creative industries can promote inclusive growth.

To access the full report:

About the Creative Economy Report: The Creative Economy Report is prepared by UNCTAD and the UNDP’s Special Unit for South-South Cooperation. In preparing the 2010 edition, UNCTAD and UNDP built upon previous contributions from other UN organizations, such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC).

About UNDP: UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners. Follow us on facebookflickrtwitteryoutube

About UNCTAD: UNCTAD promotes the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy. UNCTAD has progressively evolved into a knowledge-based institution aiming to help shape current policy debates and thinking on development, with a particular focus on ensuring that domestic policies and international action are mutually supportive in bringing about sustainable development.


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Carolina Azevedo
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