UNCTAD 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.


Creative economy outlook and Country profiles: Trends in international trade in creative industries

Creative economy leverages creativity, technology, culture and innovation in fostering inclusive and sustained economic growth and development. Creative economy sectors include arts and craft, books, films, paintings, festivals, songs, designs, digital animation and video games. They generate income through trade (exports) and intellectual property rights, and create new jobs in higher occupational skills, particularly for small and medium sized enterprises. With advancement in technology especially the digital revolution, education and innovation, creative and knowledge-based industries have emerged as among the dynamics sectors of the global economy.

Creative economy’s contribution to inclusive development is gaining recognition and support at the national and global levels. In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on culture and development (A/65/438). In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted an action plan on “Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and in it, underlined appreciation for cultural diversity and cultures contribution, specifically in preambular paragraphs 8 and 36, and in sustainable development goals and targets 4.7, 8.7, 11.4 and 12.b.
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Creative Economy Network

Through the Creative Economy Network, UNCTAD has proactively facilitated the sharing of knowledge and best practices, forging strategic alliances and networking among governments, creators, the business community and the civil society.

UNCTAD has been liaising with academia, artists, creative professionals and civil society to build a network to promote international cooperation, strategic alliances, research exchanges and advocacy. Initially, the network will list a number of partner universities and research centers. Gradually, it will become an open collaborative web space, providing a platform for professors, researchers and students to share knowledge and information.
unctad.org/CreativeEconomy/Networking-and-Synergies