unctad.org | Creative Economy Report 2008: The challenge of assessing the creative economy towards informed policy-making
Creative Economy Report 2008: The challenge of assessing the creative economy towards informed policy-making
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Full Report ( 357 Pages, 2668.0 KB )

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The so called "Creative economy" is an evolving concept based on the potential of "creative assets" to generate socio-economic growth and development, in a globalized world increasingly dominated by images, sounds, texts and symbols.

At the heart of the creative economy lie the creative industries. Loosely defined, the creative industries are at the crossroads of arts, culture, business and technology and use intellectual capital as their primary input. Today´s creative industries range from folk art, festivals, music, books, newspapers, paintings, sculptures and performing arts to more technology-intensive subsectors such as the film industry, TV and radio broadcasting, digital animation and video games, and more service-oriented fields such as architectural and advertising services.

The Creative Economy Report 2008 - The challenge of assessing the creative economy towards informed policy-making is the first comprehensive study to present the United Nations perspective on this emerging topic. This policy-oriented analysis is intended to facilitate a better understanding of the key issues underlying the emerging creative economy at national and international levels. It brings together contributions from five United Nations organizations, namely UNCTAD, UNDP UNESCO, WIPO and the International Trade Centre (ITC), in a joint endeavour to enhance policy coherence and international action in this area.

The development dimension is the guiding principle of this Report which aims to assist developing countries to harness their creative economies and to maximize trade and development gains by recognizing the creative economy as a feasible development option for linking economic, technological, social and cultural development objectives of our contemporary society.

It does this by:

  • Discussing concepts, methodologies and the structure of the creative economy

  • Sharing evidence-based analysis confirming that the creative industries constitute a new dynamic sector in international trade

  • Suggesting directions for policy strategies

The statistical annex presents first-hand trade data and pioneering analysis of international trade flows of creative goods and services in world markets.

The 350-pages Report recognizes that creativity and human talent are fast becoming powerful engines for economic growth and development, and calls for the adoption of effective cross-cutting mechanisms and concerted inter-ministerial policy action.

Developing countries around the world can find ways to optimize the potential of the creative economy for generating economic growth, job creation and export earnings while at the same time promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development.


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Creative Economy Report 2008 (Summary) (UNCTAD/DITC/2008/2/overview)
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