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Strategies as a Way Forward for Cultural Industry

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)

Regional Stakeholders Propose Strategies as a Way Forward for Cultural Industry

Suva, Fiji Islands (10 December, 2010) Pacific Island cultural industry producers and distributors have identified several concrete initiatives to further develop the sector in the areas of production, creation and distribution.

Regional artists, musicians and crafters from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, and Vanuatu; representatives of the private sector and international and regional agencies including the African, Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Cultural Observatory, made the recommendations at the end of a four-day regional meeting on the cultural industries held in Suva this week.

The meeting was jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), in conjunction with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and funded by the European Union (EU).

The recommendations include initiatives such as identifying and utilising Pacific models linking trade and culture, developing cultural protocols related to uses of expressions of culture, drawing on traditional knowledge; implementing UNESCOs Living Human Treasures initiative in the region; re-establishing the Pacific model of master/ apprentice to enable cultural masters to pass on their skills and knowledge and supporting implementation of the Pacific Culture and Education Strategy 2010-2015. Recommendations were also made in the areas of access to financing for producers, marketing, distribution, market access and the implementation of industry standards, following a value chain model.

“There is a need for e-commerce to be enabled in the Pacific region as many islands do not have facilities such as Paypal and this inhibits producers in terms of marketing their products on a global scale. There is also an important need for training to be made available in internet and the use of technology as part of marketing strategies and in using social media sites like Facebook and ETSY,” said Ms Melina Tuiravakai of the Cook Islands Business Trade Investment Board.

“The Fiji music industry model of royalty payments through the Fiji Performing Rights Association, is a very positive example of marketing which protects the intellectual property rights of musicians and performers and one which could also be adopted in other Pacific islands,” she said.

Popular Fiji vocalist and “vude queen” Laisa Vulakoro of the Fiji Performing Arts Association said: “The workshop has been a very useful experience but more time is needed to absorb the recommendations and also to pass the information on to members and associations in each country.”


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