MINISTER GILBERTO GIL LAUNCHES JOINT UNCTAD – BRAZILIAN GOVERNMENT
INITIATIVE ON CREATIVE INDUSTRIES
(Reissued as received.)
. 20 August (UNCTAD) -- The Brazilian Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil Moreira, today launched a joint initiative of the Brazilian Government and UNCTAD to set up an International Forum on Creative Industries in GENEVA . The Forum is intended to help developing countries derive greater development gains from the emerging dynamic sector of creative industries, such as the recording industry, photography, commercial art, as well as music production and the motion picture industry. By improving market transparency, sharing best practices, and international advocacy, the prospective Forum could play a major role in assisting in the development of these industries in developing countries. Creative industries are an important vehicle for the promotion of cultural diversity. Establishing strong creative industries goes beyond a narrow notion of development because these industries are key to helping countries claim their own histories and to envision their own future –- and, as such, are part of a more holistic view of the development agenda. Brazil
Speaking at the UNCTAD launch-meeting for the initiative, Minister Gilberto Gil stressed that creative industries presented “a singular opportunity for developing countries to establish new economic and trading relations”, because they allow developing countries to make use of their rich supply of creativity and cultural assets to generate employment and to reduce poverty.
UNCTAD Secretary-General Rubens Ricupero, reminded those attending that “excellence in artistic expression and abundance of talent are not the privilege of rich countries”. Zeljka Kozul-Wright, an UNCTAD expert on creative industries, added that “with effective nurturing, creativity can open up opportunities for developing countries to develop new areas of economic growth and employment creation consistent with wider trends in the global economy”.
Creative industries already contribute to employment generation and export expansion in some leading developing countries. Globally, they are estimated to account for more than 7 per cent of the world’s GDP and are forecast to grow on average by 10 per cent per annum. Already these industries represent a leading sector in the OECD economies showing annual growth rates between 5 and 20 per cent (EU, 2003). In the
, for example, creative industries already generate revenues of over Ł110 billion and employ 1.3 million people (UK Dept for Culture, Media and Sport, 2003). Several other developed countries, such as United Kingdom , Australia , Canada , New Zealand and Ireland have also been successful in exploiting their foothold in these industries, and are increasingly seeing them as a portal to the new information economy. Sweden
However, most developing and transition economies continue to be marginal players in these sectors. And yet the potential of these countries is far from negligible, as demonstrated by success stories, such as the Indian film industry (“Bollywood”). According to a recent study, the Indian entertainment industry is expected to more than double its size from the current level of $4.3 billion to $9.4 billion in 2008.
The marginal position that developing countries still occupy is in stark contrast with their rich cultural heritage and inexhaustible pool of talent, which is an enormous potential in these industries. Ongoing research by the UNCTAD secretariat has identified this potential. The current weak position of developing countries in creative industries reflects a combination of domestic policy weaknesses and global systemic biases.
The International Forum on Creative Industries could help to address the broad range of factors that are hindering the developing countries in making use of their potential. Its functions could include identifying marketable creative products in developing countries through market studies and data collection, helping to build the required supply capacity and to modernize the creative sectors, e.g., through policy advice, facilitating access to distribution networks in importing markets, as well as providing marketing support in target countries. Through advocacy and the sharing of best practices, the Forum, which is to be based in
, could make a significant contribution to developing the creative sectors in developing countries, and to translating the derived economic gains into poverty reduction. Brazil
In order to ensure the success of this initiative, UNCTAD is setting up an inter-agency task force, which will include agencies such as the ILO, UNESCO, WIPO, ITC and UNDP, whose relevant expertise in the field of creative industries will be crucial to the work of the International Forum. The specific modalities and scope of the Forum will soon be discussed at a workshop in
. A number of famous artists and musicians are expected to attend this workshop in order to lend their support to the initiative and pay tribute to the creative assets and cultural diversity of developing countries. Brazil
The joint initiative of UNCTAD and the Brazilian Government for the establishment of an International Forum on Creative Industries is the first follow-up action to the recently concluded UNCTAD XI conference, which was held in
in June. Săo Paulo
For more information, contact: UNCTAD Press Office, tel.: +41 22 917 5828, e-mail: email@example.com, Web: www.unctad.org/press; or Zeljka Kozul-Wright, tel.: +41 22 907 5994, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
* *** *