Creative Economy Programme

Creative Economy 


Since 2004, UNCTAD has played a leading role in analyzing the creative industries and providing insight into the global creative economy through its Creative Economy Programme. UNCTAD’s work has elevated the ‘creative economy’ on the world economic and development agenda. The programme’s core focus is on trade in the creative industries and the role of the creative economy in the growth of developing economies.

UNCTAD’s data driven insights on trade in creative goods and services make a unique contribution to understanding the creative economy at a time when many emerging economies and developing countries are seeking to diversify their economies.

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What is the creative economy?

The creative economy has no single definition. It is an evolving concept which builds on the interplay between human creativity and ideas and intellectual property, knowledge and technology. Essentially it is the knowledge-based economic activities upon which the ‘creative industries’ are based.

The creative industries – which include advertising, architecture, arts and crafts, design, fashion, film, video, photography, music, performing arts, publishing, research & development, software, computer games, electronic publishing, and TV/radio – are the lifeblood of the creative economy. They are also considered an important source of commercial and cultural value.

The creative economy is the sum of all the parts of the creative industries, including trade, labour and production. 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.

What do we do?

UNCTAD Creative Economy Programme generates economic information through a trade lens, to understand past trends and project into the future and to promote data-led understanding of trade in creative goods and services, intellectual property, ideas and imagination.

Reliable and consistent data on the trade in creative goods and services is the key driver of UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Programme. This information is translated into insight for countries wanting to expand and support their creative economies.

Creative Economy Network

The UNCTAD Creative Economy Network is a platform for those interested in developing the creative economies of all nations, everywhere. Join our Creative Economy Network platform to keep up-to-date on industry developments.





18 August 2020Digital platforms give lifeline to Kenya’s creatives amid COVID-19
Creative Economy
08 November 2019How the creative economy can help power development
Creative China
30 May 2019Creative China is booming, bringing Asia along
18 April 2019Notre-Dame a reminder of dual value of cultural spaces
Creative Economy
05 April 2019Indonesia adopts blockchain to grow music industry IP
11 March 2019Trade in electronic components drives growth in technology goods
Woman's Day
08 March 2019Sustainable African design in focus on Women's Day
Creative Economy
14 January 2019Global creative economy shows resilience, growth - report
United Nations
01 November 2018Creative industries take centre stage at Bali conference
Flag of Indonesia
31 August 2018UNCTAD, Indonesia collaborate on first global creative economy conference
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 Meetings and Events

Start DateTitleLocationCountry
26 Aug 2020Webinar "COVID19 and the Creative Economy: Challenges and Opportunities"GenevaIndonesia
24 Jun 2020Creative Business Cup Webinar: Creative Economy for Sustainable DevelopmentDenmark
18 May 2020High-Level meeting of the EU-UNCTAD Joint Programme for Angola: Train for Trade II on Creative EconomyAngola
09 Apr 2020Abu Dhabi Culture Summit 2020GenevaUnited Arab Emirates
06 Dec 2019Short Course for Geneva-based Diplomatics on Creative EconomyGenevaSwitzerland
28 Oct 2019Ad Hoc Expert Meeting on Creative Economy and Sustainable DevelopmentGenevaSwitzerland
07 Oct 2019 Cultural Heritage and Tradition for Sustainable Trade and Development: The role of women in the Creative Industries of the PhilippinesGenevaSwitzerland
08 Jul 2019'Industry 4.0 and Creative Economy: Promoting Inclusive Ecosystem in the Digital Era”, Vienna, 8 July 2019.ViennaAustria
14-15 Jun 20195th Edition of Afrodysée: African Trends MarketGenevaSwitzerland
29 May 20194th edition of the Beijing International Forum on Creative EconomyBeijingChina
20 May 2019High-level Luncheon on the Creative Economy and the Future of WorkNew YorkUnited States of America
04 Apr 2019The Digitalization of the Creative Economies: The Case of the Music IndustryGenevaSwitzerland
07 Feb 2019The role and impact of African creation and entrepreneurship in North–South trade GenevaSwitzerland
05-07 Nov 2018Participation at the China Import Expo (Shanghai), China and Exhibition Industry ForumShanghaiChina
01 Oct 2018Creative Economy at the UN General AssemblyNew YorkUnited States of America
28-30 Mar 2018Global Gastroeconomy SummitIstanbulTurkey
07 Dec 2017El Impacto de las Industrias Creativas en la Economía RegionalTrelew, Provincia de ChubutArgentina
14-15 Nov 2017Regional Conference: Creativity, Jobs and Local Economic Development in the Southern MediterraneanAlgiersAlgeria
08-09 Mar 2017Creative Finance Symposium 2017NairobiKenya
26-27 Nov 2016UNCTAD attends New Economy: Cultural and Creative City, and Innovation-Driven Society ForumChengduChina
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Creative Economy Report 2010 (UNCTAD/DITC/TAB/2010/3)
Creative Economy Report 2008 (Summary) (UNCTAD/DITC/2008/2/overview)
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