During its G20 presidency, India should engage with governments and policymakers and address the regulatory constraints faced by this sector to keep it afloat
Comprising knowledge-based economic activities that are coalesced into one to deliver a basket of cultural and creative products, the ‘creative economy’ is a powerhouse of human inventiveness and intellect.Consequently, the notion of the creative economy finally took a centre stage when the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) described creative economies as the sum total of all the components that make up for this industry including trade, labour, and production as a key driver of sustainable development. Deservingly so, as the sector is one of the most rapidly growing sectors, contributing 5-10 percent of global GDP. It generates over US$ 2.3 trillion annually, employing more people of ages between 15-29, with women making up of nearly half of the workforce, unlike other sectors. With the UN declaring the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development in 2021, it managed to secure its rightful place on the global stage. However, despite these optimistic projections as one of the world’s fastest growing economic sectors, the pandemic ruined its many micro-businesses, stripping off jobs from a total of 10 million workers globally in 2020. It abruptly halted the sector’s progress, earlier poised to bring in about 10 percent of the global domestic product by 2030. A recent study indicated that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME’s) were left more susceptible to negative shocks in their supply chains, labour supplies and in the final demand for goods and services than larger firms operating in this sector. Resuscitating this versatile sector becomes imperative as it comes with perks. There exist minimal entry barriers for employment in this sector and shows immense potential in generating jobs for the youth and for women at a time when jobs for the young are becoming scarce. In that regard, as the South-South trade begins to expand, the G20 can play an instrumental role in rallying together to extend support for the creative economy as a vehicle to propel future growth. Building a responsive and enabling ecosystem is an already emerging area in international dialogues such as the World Conference on Creative Economy (WCCE) in South-East Asia, adoption of Orange Economy in Latin America in their national development plans, and within the G20 member countries as well since the Saudi Arabian Presidency. For the G20 in 2023, India should take the lead as the torchbearer for this sector, carrying it forward from Indonesia which rightfully positioned it as an inclusive cross-sector phenomenon and inculcating the values of culture, economy and trade along with conserving heritage. With China, India, Türkiye , and Mexico being among a few of the top performing G20 member countries stimulating global trade in creative growth goods, this can prove to be game changer.
Building a responsive and enabling ecosystem is an already emerging area in international dialogues such as the World Conference on Creative Economy (WCCE) in South-East Asia, adoption of Orange Economy in Latin America in their national development plans, and within the G20 member countries as well since the Saudi Arabian Presidency.
Exploring possible pathways to develop mutual digital platforms for creative artists across its many tiers of multimedia, animation, art, handicrafts and wellness with adequate access to skills acquisition should be well-crafted within the discussions.As a stepping stone, building a consensus on an internationally acceptable definition of the creative economies could assist in formulating policies that ensure evidence-based policy making through institutionalised departments, improve access to finance and intellectual property rights, promote research and development and incubate a pipeline of creators with digital tools. The G20 countries could well collaborate on developing a ‘creative economic index’ that aid in assembling statistics, research and knowledge about this sector. Exploring possible pathways to develop mutual digital platforms for creative artists across its many tiers of multimedia, animation, art, handicrafts and wellness with adequate access to skills acquisition should be well-crafted within the discussions. These agenda can be then be strengthened further by guaranteeing protection of intellectual property rights through appropriate ecosystems. It is an unforgettable fact that as the global pandemic battered our lives, this very sector was instrumental in highlighting the significance of creative activities for conserving individual well-being, sustainability, and community resilience. On this very account, India must ensure that creative economies of the Global South and beyond have the chance to cross pollinate within its own global campaign of ‘Mission LiFe’ as well as in the G20 engagement groups like the C20, B20, G20 EMPOWER to forge partnerships for sustained dialogues, establishing knowledge management systems linking policymakers and experts to create a support system that ensures income for creators employed in this versatile sector.
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Arundhatie Biswas, Ph.D is Senior Fellow at ORF. Her research traverses through multi-disciplinary research in international development with strong emphasis on the transformative approaches to ...Read More +