UN official says China leads in creative economy

Updated: 2008-04-25 21:14

ACCRA - China has become world's top exporter of creative goods thanks to a policy to encourage creative industries, said Edna dos Santos-Duisenberg, chief of creative economy and industries program of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Friday.

Duisenberg, who guided the production of The Creative Economy Report 2008, the first study to present the UN perspective on this emerging topic, said "China put the right policy in place."

Duisenberg is in Accra for the UNCTAD's 12th ministerial meeting, a quadrennial event aimed to promote development of developing countries.

The export of creative goods of the Chinese mainland surged from US$ 18.4 billion in 1996 to US$ 61.3 billion in 2005, becoming the world's top exporter of creative goods with a 19 percent share in the global market, according to The Creative Economy Report 2008 released on the opening day of the meeting.

Duisenberg told Xinhua on the sidelines of the meeting that China perceived the potential of the creative economy years ago and adopted an approach to shift the economy from "Made in China" to "Created in China."

"China is the first country that really put into place a center of creative industries, "she said, referring to the Shanghai Creative Industry Center established in 2004.

The center facilitates interaction between government policies and coordinate partnership between government and private sectors, according to Duisenberg.

She praised China for establishing creative clusters - creative parks, creative districts, which "bring together creators, provide them with facilities, where they can share experience, equipment and technology."

"This is a kind of policy that we have recommended to all the countries," she said.

China's development in creative economy reflects a clear determination of the government to fully explore the potential of the creative industries as a development strategy, as emphasized in China's 11th Five-Year Plan, according to the report.

The report said though there is no single agreed definition of the "creative economy" or the "creative industries," they embrace as an essential characteristic the concept of "creativity," which is often referred to as a key resource in the knowledge economy, leading to innovation and technological changes and conferring competitive advantage on businesses and national economies.

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