UNCTAD's work on the Creative Economy

UNCTAD has introduced the topic of the "creative economy" in the world economic and development agenda.

The creative economy is an emerging concept dealing with the interface between creativity, culture, economics and technology in a contemporary world dominated by images, sounds, texts and symbols.

Today, the creative industries are among the most dynamic sectors in the world economy providing new opportunities for developing countries to leapfrog into emerging high-growth areas of the world economy.

In implementing its mandate, UNCTAD has been proactive in promoting international action in the area of the creative industries, and hence, the creative economy, emphasizing their development dimension.

The creative industries are at the crossroads of the arts, culture, business and technology. All these activities are intensive in creative skills and can generate income through trade and intellectual property rights.

CI Table

UNCTAD´s work:

  • Promoting the creative economy as a new source of growth
  • Providing a platform for intergovernmental debates and consensus-building
  • Supporting government initiatives for concerted public policies and inter-ministerial action 
  • Liaising with governments, institutions, artists, creators, academia and civil society to strengthen the creative economy in developing countries
  • Providing demand-driven policy advice and technical assistance to governments
  • Building synergies among the United Nations system: UNCTAD, set-up the United Nations Multi-Agency Informal Group on Creative Industries
  • Organizing and/or participating in international and national events
  • Promoting networking through our quarterly E-Newsletter "Creative Economy & Industries"
  • Sharing knowledge and information through its research analysis, studies and statistics



  • Governments: economic development, culture, trade, tourism, finance, technology, communications, labour, foreign affairs, social affairs and education.
  • Professional institutions: associations in the area of music, performing arts, visual arts, films, media, broadcasting organizations, creative services, etc.
  • Civil society: foundations, artistic and creators, professional associations, sectoral organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), etc.
  • International organizations and public opinion: UN family, other international organizations, etc.
  • Business sector: from independent artists and small business enterprises at one stream, to some of the world´s largest conglomerate at the other.
  • Academia and Research institutions: universities, institutes, etc.
  • Press and media and public information: journals.



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