UNCTAD and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Special Unit for South-South Cooperation are launching today in Shanghai a Partnership for Technical Assistance for Enhancing the Creative Economy in Developing Countries.
The launch coincides with the UN Global South-South Symposium on the Creative Economy, an event organized in partnership with the Shanghai Creative Industries Association and the School of Creative Studies. The Symposium promotes dialogue on ways to capitalize on the creative economy in developing nations as a tool for development and for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
The new partnership will address two key issues:
- Better integration of cultural, trade and macro-economic policies by reinforcing their linkages with overall development strategies; and
- Reducing asymmetries and biases that can distort the growth of the creative economy in developing countries and limit creative industries´ participation in global markets.
UNCTAD has been leading international work in the field of the creative economy, and its ongoing research shows that, despite having an abundance of talent and creativity, developing countries do not benefit from this dynamic sector in terms of development or the expansion of international trade. The creative industries sector lies at the crossroads between the arts, business and technology. Creativity, more than labour and capital, or even traditional technologies, is deeply embedded in every country´s cultural context. In other words, it is a ubiquitous asset. With effective nurturing, creative industries can open up new opportunities for developing countries to increase their share of world trade and to "leap-frog" into new areas of wealth creation.
The new UNCTAD/UNDP partnership will lead to a series of joint technical cooperation activities over the next three years to tackle issues affecting the creative-industry competitiveness of developing countries, to build synergies, and to open new venues to assist such countries in fostering their creative economies.
UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi has termed the new partnership a concrete result of international debates held at UNCTAD XI, which stressed the great potential of creative industries for economic development. In a message delivered by his representative, he expressed appreciation to the Director of the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation, Yiping Zhou, for his vision in choosing the creative economy as a priority for South-South cooperation. He said UNCTAD was pleased to be a partner in the endeavour and was looking forward to enhanced cooperation in the area of the creative economy.