Global exports of creative economy hit $1.6tn

Pakistan's exports imports

Global exports of the creative economy exceeded $1.62 trillion in 2020, highlighting that the sector offers an opportunity for countries to tap into to boost their economies, a study by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has found.

Decade-long data analysed by Unctad revealed that the value of creative goods increased by a quarter to $524 million in 2020 from $419m in 2010, while exports of creative services more than doubled to $1.1tn from $487 billion during the same period, the agency said in a report.

Notably, when compared to World Bank data for 2021, the $1.62tn figure surpasses the gross domestic product of all countries except for 11, further highlighting the enormous potential the sector has.

“International trade in creative goods and services generates increasing revenues for countries, but creative services exports vastly exceed those of creative goods,” Rebeca Grynspan, the secretary general of Unctad, wrote in the report

“Yet more data and innovative and multidisciplinary policy responses are needed to enhance the development impacts of the creative sector. This is essential, as the creative economy provides all countries, particularly developing economies, with a feasible option for development.” The National UAE reported .

Definitions of creative industries vary by organisations, but Unctad describes it as cycles of creating, producing and distributing goods and services that use creativity and intellectual capital as primary inputs.

They comprise a set of knowledge-based activities that produce tangible goods and intangible intellectual or artistic services with creative content, economic value and market objectives.

Fields that are considered to be part of the creative economy include cultural and natural heritage, books and press, performing arts and celebration, audiovisual and interactive media, visual arts and crafts, and design and creative services.

Other fields branching out from these are also covered, including the publishing industry and books, cinema, film and video, music, various art domains, cultural heritage museums, historical sites, archives, major cultural events, libraries and other related sub-sectors.

Grynspan had already urged countries to support and grow the creative and cultural sectors and increase their contribution to the economy during the World Conference on Creative Economy in Dubai last December.—APP


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