Grange to Lead Caribbean Charge on Creative Sectors


Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon Olivia Grange is to lobby her Caribbean political counterparts in an attempt to secure recognition of the creative industries as a key ingredient for sustained economic growth throughout the region.
Speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat during the recent Creative Clusters conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Minister Grange told Caribbean delegates that she would be willing to lead the case for securing commitment among her political colleagues in the Caribbean, emphasising that the region’s creative talents remain its greatest natural assets.
She called for greater emphasis to be placed on the creative sectors and for efforts to be made to formalise the industries and bring them into the pool where their contributions can be recognised for the tremendous contribution they can make to GDP.
“It is time for us to organise and formalise our creative sectors. In so doing, we will create the structure that will lend corporate legitimacy to the many businesses on which our creative practitioners depend for their livelihoods.”
Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Foundation Vijay Krishnarayan, who hosted Minister Grange and the Caribbean delegation, promised to examine the role institutions such as the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation can play in trade capacity building and private sector development around the creative sectors.
He noted that momentum was building throughout the Caribbean as countries seek to take advantage of the Economic Partnership Agreement and the Protocol on Cultural Cooperation signed with the EU in October.
He said: “Jamaica seems to be well positioned to be at the forefront of these regional efforts. At the Commonwealth Foundation, efforts to support the connections between culture and development are now a priority. In the area of trade and creative products, it seems there might be real synergies between the priorities of civil society and government and this discussion is something the Commonwealth Foundation could help to facilitate.”
Minister Grange invited the Commonwealth Secretariat to host a major conference in Jamaica ahead of next year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government and Commonwealth People’s Forum in Trinidad and Tobago. The conference will explore the potential of the creative sectors in the region and to raise awareness of the contributions they make to the economies of developing countries. It will also look at ways in which civil society representation in the region could be supported.
Minister Grange delivered the keynote address at the Creative Clusters conference held in Glasgow, Scotland, November 17-20.
Creative Clusters is an independent policy conference examining the growth of the creative economy. Held annually, it attracts participants from all over the world.
Now in its sixth year, it has enjoyed partnerships with Unctad, the UK Film Council, the Commonwealth Foundation, Festivals Edinburgh, the Scottish Arts Council and the Scottish government. It was endorsed by Linda Fabiani, Scottish Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture.

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