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Creative Industries Driving Exports and Enhancing a Country’s Image Abroad

May 29, 2017, 19:40 UTC+3
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Global creative industries (CI) are becoming increasingly wide-spread having gained 14% even in the recession. In mature economies, their GDP share ranges from 5% to 9% now. The emergence of creative professions and CI businesses is a response to digital transformation and the ensuing structural changes in employment. In Russia, the sector’s development has so far been decentralised, although it has a good export potential and can be instrumental for the nation’s global perception.

Creative industries comprise the entire range of cultural products and services, including film and TV, design, architecture, advertising and marketing, fashion, etc.

  • According to EY, the CI segment generated 3% of the global GDP in 2016 and employed 1% of the workforce.
  • The Asia Pacific accounted for 33% of the market, or USD 743 billion, Europe for 32%, or USD 709 billion, and North America for 28%, or USD 620 billion.
  • Creative industries are an important element of developed countries’ exports: about one third of the sector’s products and services are bound for foreign markets.

The sector’s development is tightly intertwined with urbanisation and the smart city concept, which attract best talent from the cultural and high tech sectors.

  • In London and Berlin, the share of CI in the GDP totals 6% and 8%, respectively (vs around 1% in St. Petersburg).
  • The City of the Future survey conducted in 2016 by the Economist showed the importance of support to the creative cluster for economic growth with several cities as an example. Notably, encouragement of ICT and media technologies that began in Seoul in the 1990s, has by now brought the city to the top of the list of the most advanced municipalities globally. On top of that, heavy investment in cyber sports made Seoul the export leader in this segment.
  • Attracting two technological consortiums to Austin, US, in the 1980s ensured the inflow of 100,000 residents. Achievements in CI doubled the figure over 20 years and brought about a construction boom.

Unlocking the CI potential has become the focus of many countries.

  • In 2015, China increased financing of CI by 11% y-o-y. The country’s five-year development plan through 2020 views CI as a key driver behind economic growth.
  • Qatar has chosen CI development as a priority to reduce its crude oil dependence.
  • In 2016, the UK Creative Industries Council together with the government drafted a five-year plan for CI development.
  • In 2015, the EU launched a three-year programme Culture and Creativity with a budget of EUR 4.2 million to support and promote CI in the former Soviet Union (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).

In 2016, Calvert 22 and PwC ran the first comprehensive assessment of Russia’s urban creative potential to produce the Creative Capital Index.

  • The outcome will underpin a digital economy and creative capital strategy as part of the country’s overall development programme for 2018-2024.
  • The index will measure the performance of city administrations.

This sector may become a source of non-energy export growth and improve Russia’s global perception.

  • In late January 2017, the Russian Fund for Information Technology Development was set up, one of its goals being assistance in entering foreign markets.
  • In 2016, the Russian Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications initiated a list of incentives for IT companies to remove part of export barriers.
  • In January 2016, Gazprom Media and Shanghai Media Group signed an agreement on strategic cooperation in the production and distribution of TV and media content.

The Center for Strategic Research estimates that the share of CI in Russia’s GDP may feasibly reach 8.5% by 2024 and 10% by 2035. That would require the notion of a “creative industry” introduced into the legislation, CI development strategies in each region, creative clusters, business accelerators with national universities, educational reforms, low-interest loans, CI promotion and export support.


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