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Pacific: Implement Policies to Promote Cultural Industries

“Implement Policies to Promote Cultural Industries,” Says Regional Body

Suva, Fiji Islands (7 December, 2010) The promotion of creative, cultural and innovative industries must be part of National Development Plans and appropriate resources must be allocated to them.

“Prominence is needed at the government level to promote cultural, creative and innovative industries via initiatives such as establishing interagency and private sector committee; building the capacity of intellectual property and culture administrations, coordinating and building capacity in compliance, monitoring and enforcement of intellectual property and traditional knowledge,” said Mr Douveri Henao, Trade Policy Officer responsible for Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge, of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

“At the regional and international levels, the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) and international development partners have responded to promoting the sector by implementing the Traditional Knowledge Action Plan whereby several Pacific Island Countries have been assisted in formulating policy and legal frameworks in promoting and protecting traditional knowledge and expressions of culture. These activities intend to assist Pacific countries to develop programmes and activities focused on promoting and protecting cultural industries. This could be done through the development of action plans, law and policy frameworks and selective administrative and policy support.”

Mr Henao made the comments at a regional meeting on the cultural industries currently underway at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva.

Assistance in the Traditional Knowledge Action Plan intends to also explore how operators of cultural industries, mostly present in the informal, micro and Small Medium Enterprise sectors may have various government incentives to stimulate their businesses. Preferential treatment in taxes was an example mentioned.

In addition, other policy options such as technology transfer, information sharing and capacity building; training on product and marketing development; Grants and other capital financing incentives and export promotion and market access of cultural goods and services, all contribute to the sector actively participating in the economy,” Mr Henao said.

He also identified the legal, judicial, non government organisation and private sector as major players in promoting cultural industries. Building jurisprudence in traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights provides confidence to cultural, creative and innovative practitioners and operators to ensure that their rights are recognised and protected by the courts. At the same time, it is important that they begin to establish entities representing them. .

“These entities may then form the basis to create standards, licensing modalities and liaise with government on industry support; develop intra private sector relations on investing in operators in the cultural, creative and innovative sectors and develop relations with legal professionals on developing intellectual property- related services,” he said.

Mr. Henao also mentioned the importance of stakeholders ensuring their governments promote the importance of protecting cultural industries in trade and economic agreements they may consider being a party to. Clear positions on these issues no doubt enhance the industry in actively participating in the global economy.

The four-day Regional Consultation on the Cultural Industries is jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, in conjunction with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and is funded by the European Union (EU).

ENDS

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