State Minister for Industry, Investment, and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, has underscored the value of the creative industries to national growth and development.
She noted that the sector contributed some $29 billion or 4.8 per cent of Jamaica's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2005, employing over 32,000 persons.
“The process, through which new ideas are generated and successfully introduced in the marketplace is a primary driver of economic growth and national competitiveness and we must continue to create a framework that encourages new ideas and protect the rights of all Jamaicans,” she stated.
“The creative works remain a viable resource that need to be given more protection to sustain our economies and societies,” Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said as she addressed a Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) outreach event on April 27, at the Montego Bay Civic Centre in St. James.
The event was part of activities to celebrate Intellectual Property (IP) Week from April 22 to 29 under the theme: ‘Nation Building through Creativity and Innovation: Maximizing our IP Potential.'
The State Minister said that as the country looks to the next 50 years of Independence, Jamaica must look to invest in and encourage the creativity and productivity of its people and creative industries.
She noted further that “every possible opportunity must be exploited to raise public awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks, geographical indicators, and industrial designs impact our daily lives socially and economically. It is critical for us to realize our full potential as a country."
The State Ministry commended the work of JIPO and urged that the week of celebration must be used “to promote the innovative industries as areas that can have many Jamaicans realizing their true potential”.
“See intellectual property not only as tools for developed countries, but as fundamental mechanisms to maximize the potential for each and every Jamaican, be it in an area of music, art, craft, or dance,” she urged.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter