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13 June 2004, 09h30 - 18h00, Room A
High-Level Panel on Creative Industries and Development
Participating Agencies: ILO, ITC and UNESCO.

 Context | Agenda | Documents | Outcome/Summary


[Text circulated in TD/L.379. For other available languages, click here.]

1. The High-Level Panel on Creative Industries comprised more than 40 eminent artists and experts from the cultural community, industry, academia, international organizations and civil society from many parts of the world, both developed and developing. It agreed that creative expression, by drawing on a well of historical and contemporary values and symbols, allows countries to tell their own stories, project their own images, and share their own challenges and aspirations, both among their own citizens and with those from other countries. In this respect, support for domestic creative industries should be seen as an integral part of the promotion and protection of cultural diversity. Moreover, such diversity, because it is a global public good, needs to be fully supported by the international community.

2. Creativity begins at home and is not limited to rich countries. While local and national cultures are considered a global public good and strengthening cultural diversity is considered an integral part of the development process, the Panel agreed that nations do not live by cultures alone. All countries can increase their participation in the global economy through the expansion of their creative industries, provided that these are nurtured and supported by appropriate policies.

3. Creative cultural assets and rich cultural resources found in abundance in all developing countries, based on inexhaustible human creativity and intangible assets, could be transformed into economic value and a source of economic development through the formation of coherent integrated sectoral policies that include a rapprochement between culture and trade policies. The Panel recognized that the age of globalization offers many new opportunities for developing countries in this area while at the same time containing potential threats to cultural diversity and creativity, and recommended that a balance be sought between achieving national cultural objectives and achieving international trade policy objectives.

4. The Panel recognized that creative industries represent one of the most dynamic sectors in the global trading system. However, their dual economic and cultural functionality calls for innovative policy responses in the new post-liberal trading environment. With a view to drawing lessons for developing countries in this promising new cluster of economic activities, ranging from music, film, broadcasting, television and handicrafts, to design-based activities and computer software, the Panel examined national and regional experiences, and best practice cases, from both the developed and developing countries, were discussed and disseminated.

5. The Panel concurred that the opportunities for employment expansion, value creation and technological upgrading had often gone unrealized in developing countries and that effective national policy can make a difference. Policy intervention in this area needs to focus on facilitating market access for the smaller players and sharing more equitably the rewards of their creativity. In the new economy, the digital environment is becoming increasingly important for creative industries. The digital exploitation of rights offers many new possibilities and opportunities for developing countries in the field of creative industries, provided that there is a level playing field and that the different types of IPRs are adequately managed and exploited. It was agreed that the copyright regime could provide developing countries with an important additional source of revenue creation and revenue sharing derived from creative industries, provided that a level playing field exists between the different rights holders.

6. Obstacles to the development of creative industries were identified and suggestions made with regard to overcoming barriers to market entry. In developing the new policy response for the promotion of creative industries, a combination of market- and non-market-based mechanisms was favoured. Elements of the new policy framework include public-private sector partnerships, cultural entrepreneurship, networking, intermediary institutions to forge collaboration among various stakeholders, and stimulation and building of domestic markets. Moreover, it was considered essential to create new and innovative sources of finance and mechanisms aimed at facilitating more equitable access for, and remuneration from, the creative industries. Focusing on developing export markets alone is not sufficient.

7. The role of the international community in support of creative industries was highlighted. The Panel indicated that special measures were needed for the development of creative industries at the international level, particularly in the trade and financing arena and in ensuring cultural diversity in developing countries. The Panel recommended the establishment of an independent entity, such as an international forum on creative industries, that would deal specifically with the development of creative industries in developing countries. The need for increased and better coordinated international efforts was highlighted with a view to the promotion of more collaboration among different international agencies and the investment

Last updated: 10 July 2004 23:19