Culture makes money | UNCTAD Report series

The creative and cultural industries (CCIs) are one of the most dynamic sectors worldwide. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), trade in creative goods and services currently amounts to 592 billion US dollars and accounts for almost 3.7% of global trade. Even during the financial crisis, CCIs have proved exceptionally resilient compared to the classic sectors.

UNCTAD says that in 2005 the cultural industries accounted for 7%, or $1.3 trillion of the world economy. These industries include music, film and television, textile design and fashion. In Britain, at least 2m people have jobs related to culture and top auditing firm KPMG reported to the British government that employment in the creative sector would in the 20 years up to 2015 grow by 46%. Tessa Jowell, a former UK culture secretary, reckons that 20% of Britain’s GNP can now be attributed to the creative industries, with music alone worth £5bn. The British film industry employs 47,000 people, the computer games industry 22,000 and the design industry 70,000. The great advantage that creative industries have over, say, shoe manufacturers is that their raw material – talent – is potentially abundant in all countries, however poor.

UNCTAD’s Creative economy report (series)
Creative Industries Country Studies Series