G20 ministers vow to back $2.3tr cultural economy

The Group of 20 culture ministers on Wednesday pledged to support the $2.3 trillion cultural economy.

The virtual meeting held under the theme “The rise of the cultural economy: A new paradigm” was organized by the Saudi Ministry of Culture and G20 Saudi Secretariat; as part of the International Conferences Program honoring the G20 Saudi presidency.

At the inaugural meeting, the culture ministers discussed heritage preservation, sustainable development and culture as a catalyst for economic growth.

They only focused on employing new technologies, developing digital platforms for artistic expression, while making cultural resources more easily accessible.

UNESCO puts annual revenue from cultural and creative sectors at $2.3 trillion and exports at more than $250 billion.

In fact the sectors employ nearly 30 million people worldwide; while some forecasts put its contribution to global gross domestic product at about 10 percent in the near future.

“This high-level cultural presence at Saudi G20 presidency illustrates our shared belief in the vital role of culture in propelling the innovation ecosystem of economies;” said Saudi Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan.

“The onus is on us to preserve our shared heritage for future generations; and to produce and disseminate culture in a sustainable manner.”

Meeting amid crisis

Above all the meeting comes at the same time of great hardship; as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues to affect all spheres of life forcing people to adopt different means of communication using the internet.

“Precisely in a difficult moment like the one we are experiencing; the universal values of culture can represent the foundations on which to build rebirth,” Dario Franceschini; Italian minister of cultural heritage and activities and tourism and co-chair of the first meeting additionally said.

“The serious crisis unleashed by the pandemic has laid the foundations for an important innovative turning point in terms of the diffusion of new technologies.”

As can be seen this accessibility demonstrated the resilience of the cultural economy and helped spur economic growth through innovative means by creative industries; in order to increase the global exchange of cultural goods and services.