UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Petko Draganov was speaking at an UNCTAD 50th anniversary event held in Istanbul, 28 November, 2014, aimed at boosting Turkey's media, design, music and arts industries.
Mr. Draganov was hosted by the Rector of Istanbul Commerce University, Professor Nazìm Ekren, and President of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Ibrahim Çaglar.
The signature of the protocol of cooperation between UNCTAD and Istanbul Commerce University was followed by the launching of the Istanbul Creative Industries Network. The Network is supported by the Ministry of Trade and Customs of Turkey; Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality; Istanbul Development Agency; Istanbul Chamber of Commerce; Yekon Creative Industries Council; Istanbul Creative Economy, Cultural Industries and Creative Cities Research Center and UNCTAD.
"Istanbul's growing role as an economic, cultural and creative centre is globally recognized. This drives an increasingly important part of Istanbul's tourism. A significant share of this inflow is attracted not only by Istanbul's cultural heritage, but also by the creative environment it offers today: with music, festivals, art crafts, art galleries, biennales, cinema, cuisine, architecture," Mr. Draganov said.
"The multicultural metropolis of Istanbul has a great potential for economic development through the creative economy in the years to come," he added.
Ms. Esin Okay, Manager Istanbul Creative Economy, Cultural and Creative City Research Center, Mr. Petko Draganov, UNCTAD Deputy Secretary General and President of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Ibrahim Çaglar showing the protocol agreement with Professor Nazìm Ekren, Rector of Istanbul Commerce University.
"Creative industries like films and TV, fashion design, architectural design, industrial design, music, contemporary arts, and new media; are contributing jobs and income that are making Istanbul the vibrant and lively city it is," Mr. Draganov said. "Turkey has become the second-largest TV series exporting country in the world after the United States. And the number of audiences for Turkish cinema has surpassed the 2008 peak of 23 million to 29 million in 2013."
According to UNCTAD, Turkey's exports of creative goods amounted to $7.3 billion in 2012, with design goods exports accounting for the largest share of it.
The Istanbul Creative Industries Network aims to unite key public and private players, initially through a web-based tool, so that they can share information, promote cooperation across the creative sectors, and facilitate networking within the international creative economy, creative industries agencies and creative city centers around the world.
UNCTAD is also working with partners in Istanbul on a study of the creative economy to highlight economic and development opportunities that the creative sector can offer the city.