Monday, January 14, 2019

Creative economy bucks the trend

Global trade in creative goods is expanding with average export growth rates of more than 7 per cent, according to a new UNCTAD report outlining trends in the global creative economy.
The report, which includes sector-level profiles for 130 developed and developing countries, also charts China’s remarkable rise in the trade of creative goods. China accounts for more than one-third of global art sales at auction. Its film production is set to soar, and it contributes a significant portion to global trade of design products such as furniture, fashion and jewelry.
“The creative economy has both commercial and cultural worth,” Pamela Coke-Hamilton, who directs UNCTAD’s trade division, said. “Acknowledging this dual value has led governments worldwide to expand and develop their creative economies as part of economic diversification strategies and efforts to stimulate economic growth, prosperity and well-being.”
The data, which covers the period 2002 to 2015, shows the creative economy’s contribution to world trade. Over this period, the value of the global market for creative goods doubled from $208 billion in 2002 to $509 billion in 2015.
For the first time, the economic contribution of creative services, not just goods, is also measured at country level in the report, 'Creative Economy Outlook: Trends in International Trade in Creative Industries.'
"Within the creative economy, the creative industries generate income through trade and intellectual property rights, and create new opportunities, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises,” Coke-Hamilton added.
The creative industries – including architecture, arts and crafts, marketing and advertising, media and publishing, research and development, software, computer games, and other core creative work – are the lifeblood of the creative economy.
Design and visual arts are among the highest performing sectors with fashion, interior design and jewelry accounting for 54 per cent of creative goods exports.
“Although the downturn in global trade has impacted all industries, the report shows the creative economy is more resilient than most,” the chief of UNCTAD’s creative economy programme, Marisa Henderson said, adding that the performance of the creative economy is encouraging and shows it is thriving through the intersection of culture, technology, business and innovation.
China is the biggest single exporter and importer of creative goods and services. It is the main force behind the creative economy boom over the past 13 years and owns a large portion of it. China’s trade in creative goods between 2002 and 2015 has been exponential with average annual growth rates of 14 per cent. "In 2002 China’s trade in creative goods was $32 billion and by 2014 the figure had increased more than fivefold, tallying $191.4 billion. There was a drop off in 2015 where China recorded a $168.5 billion trade in creative goods, but comparatively, China has maintained the dragon’s share of the trade in creative goods."
In 2015 Chinese exports were four times that of the United States.
The new data shows that Asia outstripped all other regions with China and South East Asia combined accounting for $228 billion of creative exports, almost double that of Europe.
China, Hong Kong (China), India, Singapore, Taiwan Province of China, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Mexico and Philippines were the top 10 performing developing economies stimulating global trade in creative goods. Among developed economies, the US, France, Italy, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Poland, Belgium and Japan were the top 10 creative goods exporters.

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