Cultural Industries: the new frontier for development efforts?
The use of national cultural goods as sources of revenue is an intriguing area, with benefits ranging from increased income to the preservation of national identities and different cultures. FORO further explains the importance of "cultural industries."
“The importance of CIs (cultural industries) not only lies in their impact on economies and labor markets (they are labor intensive), they also contribute to the consolidation of identities and social integration. They make it possible to reaffirm shared values and to discuss key issues for democracy. This is particularly important for countries as diverse as those of South American, many of which can be classified as multicultural and plurinational. In this sense, globalization and the leadership of developed countries in CI’s can be seen as worrisome trends insofar as they lead to an increasing consumption of foreign cultural products in South America that could generate a loss of values and identity. Already in 2002, 87.3% of benefits generated by the press, books, television, radio and movies were concentrated in developed countries.”
Implications from FORO:
“A key challenge for South America is to formulate national policies to promote, and when necessary, to subsidize CIs directly.Redefining the role of the state in CIs should consider their positive contribution to social development and to integration in countries where exclusion and fragmentation persist. However, governments are devoting scarce resources to cultural activities in the region. For example,in 2005 allocations to CIS represented about 0.1 percent of the national budget in Colombia and Peru.
“Other challenges include the protection of intellectual property in countries with large informal sectors; the dominant position of a few business groups over book, music and information markets and across sectors; and achieving an international approach to CI’s, analyzing the consequences of integration and free trade agreements, as well as the actions oflarge transnational firms in these sectors. Nevertheless, considering the economic and identity forging potential of CIs, there will be an urgent need to develop sensible and effective public polices to promote them in the near future.”
Sources:FORO July 2010, pg. 3