Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Mr. Reginald Budhan, has stressed the need for constant mapping of the creative industries to ensure that they can be developed and utilised for the benefit of the country.
“We need constant mapping of our creative industries in order to facilitate policy making, assess their potential and identify those creative branches, which have potential for growth as well as to quantify their potential for (contributing) to socioeconomic growth,” Mr. Budhan said, as he addressed the Visual and Performing Arts Jamaica (VPAJ) launch showcase held yesterday (December 14) at the offices of Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI) in Kingston.
According to Mr. Budhan, cultural and creative industries are among the fastest growing sectors of the global economy, representing up to seven per cent of world production.
He said while there is very little data on the size of the creative industries in Jamaica, a recent study indicated that the copyrights sector accounts for approximately 5.1 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and three per cent of the country’s employment.
In the meantime, he commended VPAJ for bringing together the various creative industries in an effort to grow the sector.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Mr. Reginald Budhan (far right), enjoying the performance of drummers and dancers from L’CADCO dance group, at the Visual and Performing Arts Jamaica (VPAJ) 2009 Launch Showcase, held at the Jamaica Trade and Invest in Kingston, on December 14. In addition to showcasing the work of its members, VPAJ also launched its website at the event.
VPAJ is an alliance of film and television professionals, visual artists, dancers and choreographers, dramatists, writers and publishers, and providers of affiliated services and goods. Its membership comprises more than 300 individuals, firms, professional associations, training institutions and other stakeholders.
It was established in early 2008 with grant funding from the European Union/Government of Jamaica Private Sector Development Programme, and is headquartered at the JTI.
Yesterday’s launch showcase was held to celebrate the achievements of the agency to date and reveal its strategy for 2010 and beyond. The VPAJ also used the event to officially unveil its website, www.vpaj.org and showcase some of the work of its members.
Director of Culture in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Mr. Sydney Bartley, in his remarks, noted that the collaboration of the visual and performing arts in an association is of “great value to the development and enhancement of the cultural products of this culture”.
He pointed out that it is far easier to lobby government, as well as get things done, if one is part of a professional association.
“It’s easy when you have a decision to take right on the spur of the moment, when a country calls wanting to do something or the foreign ministry wants to know what should go in a particular agreement…it’s easy when you are then able to turn to an association and simply say ‘hey we need information, we need some support, we need a presence’,” he elaborated.