It is easy to understand why films, books, music and other cultural goods and services are recognized by the global community as more than commodities. While they certainly create fiscal value, they also enrich our lives in many vital ways. Despite their importance, though, cultural industries often waver in countries facing various development challenges.
A lack of infrastructure and training opportunities means artists, cultural entrepreneurs and practitioners struggle to access national, let alone international markets. Locally, this means the creativity of local artists is not nurtured and the benefits of cultural industries often remain unrealized, while globally, diversity of cultural goods, services and activities as well as choices of citizens are jeopardized.
Countries around the world are increasingly recognizing the potential of cultural industries as drivers for sustainable development. Harnessing this power calls for innovation and creativity from everyone involved with making and sharing a country’s varied range of cultural goods and services: government officials, artists, producers, marketers, civil society and the international community.