UNCTAD 2021 International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development


United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Capitalizing on creativity: How imagination can support sustainable development

Apr 20, 2023 – As the UN marks World Creativity and Innovation Day, this episode of The Weekly Tradecast looks at the creative economy with Marisa Henderson, chief of UNCTAD’s creative economy program.
Podcast: unctad.org/podcast/capitalizing-creativity-how-imagination-can-support-sustainable-development

Creative Economy Offers Countries Path to Development, Says New UNCTAD Report

October 7, 2022 – But more data and innovative and multidisciplinary policy responses are needed to enhance the development impacts of creative industries, especially in developing countries.
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Creative industry 4.0 offers vast opportunities for developing countries

April 21, 2022 – A new UNCTAD report provides policy options for developing countries to harness new technological trends for their creative economies.
The report examines the economic aspects of the interaction between creativity and technological-business innovations, enhancing understanding on how the fourth industrial revolution, or industry 4.0, has changed the way creative businesses and professionals are practising their activity.
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Read the first ever comprehensive study about the creative economy contributed by UNCTAD, UNDP, UNESCO, WIPO and the International Trade Centre (ITC), in a joint endeavour to enhance policy coherence and international action in this area.


Established in 1964, UNCTAD promotes the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy. UNCTAD has progressively evolved into an authoritative knowledge-based institution whose work aims to help shape current policy debates and thinking on development, with a particular focus on ensuring that domestic policies and international action are mutually supportive in bringing about sustainable development.

Civil Society meets UNCTAD S-G
Civil Society meets UNCTAD Secretary-General

The organization works to fulfil this mandate by carrying out three key functions:

  • It functions as a forum for intergovernmental deliberations, supported by discussions with experts and exchanges of experience, aimed at consensus building.
  • It undertakes research, policy analysis and data collection for the debates of government representatives and experts.
  • It provides technical assistance tailored to the specific requirements of developing countries, with special attention to the needs of the least developed countries and of economies in transition. When appropriate, UNCTAD cooperates with other organizations and donor countries in the delivery of technical assistance.