Economies of Scale

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Copyright © United Nations 2008
All rights reserved
UNCTAD/DITC/2008/2
ISBN 978-0-9816619-0-2

Material in this publication may be freely quoted or reprinted as long as acknowledgement is provided with a reference to the source. A copy of the publication containing the quotation or reprint should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat at: Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, and to the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation, 1 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017 USA.

This Report is the fruit of a collaborative effort that was led by UNCTAD and the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation and that included a team of experts from the collaborating UN agencies – UNCTAD, UNDP, UNESCO, WIPO and ITC – as well as international consultants.

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The English version of the full report and the French and Spanish versions of its overview section are currently available on the Internet at the addresses indicated below: http://www.unctad.org/creative-economy and http://ssc.undp.org/creative_economy

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C R E AT I V E E C O N O M Y R E P O R T 2 0 0 8

Foreword

The world economy has clearly seen an
extraordinary expansion in the past five years.
This expansion has been more broadly based
than ever before, allowing many developing
countries to benefit from it. Even some of the
least developed countries have been able to generate average annual GDP growth of more than 5 per cent, representing significant progress over
that made in the 1990s. Nevertheless, this path
of economic growth has not yet been sufficient
to ensure the welfare and decent living standards
for the large majority of people in the developing world. Despite efforts to diversify their economies, 86 of 144 developing countries still
depend on commodities for more than half
their export earnings. Prevailing development
strategies have yet to succeed in generating
expected levels of socio-economic development
for these countries. The challenge is to find feasible development options that take into account their specific realities and in particular
their scarcity of skilled labour, lack of basic
infrastructure and very low levels of foreign
direct investment. How to promote development
that is both sustainable and inclusive?

In this context, the interface among creativity, culture, economics and technology, as expressed in the ability to create and circulate
intellectual capital, has the potential to generate
income, jobs and export earnings while at the
same time promoting social inclusion, cultural
diversity and human development. This is what
the emerging creative economy has already
begun to do as a leading component of economic growth, employment, trade, innovation and social cohesion in most advanced
economies. The creative economy also seems to
be a feasible option for developing countries. If
effective public policies are in place, the creative
economy generates cross-cutting linkages with
the overall economy at macro and micro levels.
It thus fosters a development dimension, offering
new opportunities for developing countries to
leapfrog into emerging high-growth areas of the
world economy.
This study is the first to present the
perspectives of the United Nations on this
exciting new topic. The creative economy is an
evolving concept centred on the dynamics of the
creative industries. There is no single definition
of the creative economy nor is there a consensus
as to the set of knowledge-based economic activities on which the creative industries are based. There is no one-size-fits-all recipe but rather, flexible

The creative
economy has
the potential
to generate
income and jobs
while promoting
social inclusion,
cultural...
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