The creative industry must become a separate sector of the economy

10 october 2018

"Given how ambitious the goals are that the Russian president set for the country for the period ending in 2024 with regards to effecting a breakthrough in scientific and technological and socio-economic development, it's imperative that we create a creative sector in the economy," said Analytical Center expert Inna Karakchieva speaking at the Great Eight creative industries festival. "And it should also be noted that unlike the leading economies of the world, in Russia there is no such thing as a separate creative sector in the economy and the term creative industry is not used in strategic planning documents."

But does this mean that there are no creative industreis in Russia? "Of course not, in Russia, especially over the past three years we've been seeing a boom of creative industries," Ms Karakchieva points out. "The private sector has been quickly building a most flexible system of creative services and manufacturing facilities, trying to focus its efforts and defining, often intuitively, new forms of interaction in the domestic market in Russia."

However, according to the expert, the growing global competition between the three key international markets of creative industries is defining the main development trends in this field. While Asia-Pacific is home to a number of leaders in the gaming industry, services and print publications and Europe is an established center of arts and fashion, North America focuses primarily on creative services and audio-visual media (television, radio and motion pictures).

According to Ms Karakchieva, this begs the question about what role Russia should play in creative industries and what her positions are in this global market. At the moment, the creative industries in our country are dominated by information technologies, software and computer services. And this trend is expected to continue as the country pivots to digitize its economy. It is important to note that Russia is seeing the development of such major sectors of creative industries as cultural heritage sites and expression through traditional crafts and culture; in these sectors sales are 5 times greater than the global average. And even though the creative industries employ only about 4% of the total workforce (more than half are youths), a third of them are employed by small and medium sized businesses.

According to the expert, it is vital that the creative industries are treated as an independent sector of the economy. She believes, that regulators are needed for the creative industries and that state regulation of the creative industries will encourage small and medium sized businesses to go into this sector and develop a system of social entrepreneurship. It should also be noted that potentially the creative industries could become an important driver of GDP growth and their total contribution to the GDP could quadruple in less than 10 years. But this will never happen if the huge potential of the creative industries for the economic growth of the country as a whole and specific cities and regions is not taken into account when national strategic development documents are drafted.

Photo from open sources