Report Presented at OAS Highlights the Growing Economic Benefits of the Creative Industries
The Organization of American States (OAS) received a report from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on the economic importance of the creative industries in 30 countries of the world, including various Member States, that highlighted the rapid growth of the sector
(PressZoom) - The Organization of American States (OAS) received a report from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on the economic importance of the creative industries in 30 countries of the world, including various Member States, that highlighted the rapid growth of the sector -- 2.5 times faster than the average growth of economies in general—and the significant contributions it makes to the development of countries.
The report, with studies developed in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Jamaica, Colombia, Peru, and ongoing in Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago, was elaborated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and presented at an event co-organized by the International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI) and the OAS Executive Secretariat for Integral Development. Participants included OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin; the Minister of Planning and the Economy of Trinidad and Tobago, Bhoendradatt Tewarie; the Vice-Chairman of the IIPI, Jorge Amigo Castañeda; and the Deputy Director of the Creative Industries Section of the WIPO, Dimiter Gantchev; as well as high-level OAS officials and officials from the member countries that work on issue related to competitiveness, innovation and the creative industries, among others.
The Assistant Secretary General of the OAS asserted that “the creative industries have demonstrated growing importance around the world,” and that “they have been firmly established as a vital component and contributor to our economic wellbeing.” In this sense, he recalled that in recent years the creative sector “has generated increasing recognition as a tool for generating wealth, creating jobs, and promoting trade.”
Ambassador Ramdin identified one of the principal challenges in our region as “our ability to increase the value added income from distinctive products and services based on the innovative and creative capacity of our populations and the unique characteristics of our rich cultures and biodiversity.” “Many of our countries are not benefitting fully from the potential of the creative economies despite the richness of the cultural expressions, talents, and diversity. The challenge ahead of us is how to harness our creative capacity for development and how to maximize opportunities in the creative industries for our countries to make the necessary quantum leaps into new value added areas,” he emphasized.
The Minister of Planning and the Economy of Trinidad and Tobago , Bhoendradatt Tewarie, offered a presentation on the initiatives his country implements to foment the role of creative industries in economic growth and highlighted their potential. “Based on the preliminary assessment of this study, it may well be possible for Trinidad and Tobago to achieve a contribution from the creative sector of about six to seven percent of GDP," he said, which would make the contribution of the creative sector similar to that of the manufacturing sector, "which is quite solid and a high employer" in the Caribbean country.
“So it is in that framework that this forum is important to us," he added. "The creative industries are critically important to Trinidad and Tobago, and the whole business of diversification is vital to a country that has been energy dependent for almost a hundred years.”
The Deputy Director at the WIPO, Dimiter Gantchev, acknowledged the "surprising" results of the studies, and explained that it was unexpected to some people that the creative industries such as popular entertainment “create so many jobs and so much value.” “To some extent, we did see a deviation from the classical development patterns in the sense that there was a lot of job generation in this sector, even in countries that are not doing that well in terms of their overall economic development. So this is a sector with an important social potential in creating jobs."
Gantchev also recalled that “every nation is extremely rich in its cultural expressions and in its cultural identity. The question is how can we turn this creativity into a growth factor, how can we use it for our economic development purposes.”
Continuing this line of thought, Gantchev said that Intellectual Property is one of the tools that can “protect and promote creativity,” continued Mr. Gantchev. “In fact, we don’t know whether we have become more creative today than what we were one hundred or two hundred years ago. What has changed is we have developed new conceptual frameworks, and one of these frameworks is the intellectual property framework, which certainly helps us transform our creative ideas and outlooks in a much easier way into economic goods and services. Thus can we take account of the impact of creativity on society."
Among the results of the study he highlighted that the creative sector has an “impressive” dynamic, an average growth 2.5 times faster than the average growth of economies, and that “with the recession we have seen that the creative industries are very well interconnected with the rest of the economy because they provide services and deliver goods to other parts of the economy, and they also purchase goods and services in order to function. And we’ve seen that they’ve been affected by the recession, though to a different extent.”
Nevertheless, there are still various challenges, one of which at the level of public policy is how to look constructively at the results of these Studies and try to turn into policy programs. “We’ve also seen some difficulties depending on the level of interest and priority given to copyright in respective countries,” Mr. Gantchev said. “If intellectual property and copyright is an important policy issue for the country, then we normally have better conditions for carrying out these studies. In other countries where there are different and other issues on the policy agenda, these studies have not always been easy to carry out and even more difficult to follow up.”
For his part, the IIPI representative, Jorge Amigo Castañeda, explained about the studies that “the intention is to go on with studies for more countries and for the ones we already have studied, to keep studying them each year.” He added that “this cannot be a snapshot, it should be done very year so we can see the changes and improvements.”
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