Global competitiveness specialists from around the world gathered in Seoul to discuss their policies to promote the creative industries at the joint 2013 World Competitiveness Summit and Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC) Annual Meeting on November 21 and 22. At the summit, titled “Enhancing Sustainable Prosperity Through Creativity and Innovation,” the participants talked about their creative industry policies, the convergence of different industries, how to create shared value and women’s role in the creative industries.
In a video message delivered on November 21, President Park Geun-hye said, “Korea is now developing a creative economy whose growth will be driven by creativity and innovation. The creative industries can not only help Korea leap forward again but can also contribute to the sustainable prosperity of the world's economy and to the happiness of humankind.”
“It is very important to properly evaluate the current situation in order to increase competitiveness,” said Vice Minister of Strategy and Finance Choo Kyung-ho. “There is a need for indexes that can reflect economic and social conditions of various countries rather than focusing on rank in order to overcome the limitations of existing competitiveness indexes.”
Explaining the shifts underway in the world’s economic paradigm, GFCC Chairman Charles O. Holiday Jr. said, “Climate change has accelerated much more than expected but there are lower-cost renewable energies available.”
“With the use of technology, education takes on a totally different form,” he added.
Edna dos Santos-Duisenberg, former policy advisor on the creative economy and development at the U.N. Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), said the world’s economy has not yet fully recovered and that we need to deal with shifts in economic models and competitiveness.
“Creativity, knowledge and access to information are driving economic growth, jobs, innovation and social cohesion,” she said. “We need to review fiscal policies, especially taxation measures, for information and communications technology (ICT) and creative sectors, and make it easier to use the financial and technical resources needed to create content.”
After the speeches, there were four sesssions to discuss the creative industries. The first session dealt with the creative industry policies of each country. The second was about convergence of different industries. The third hosted a discussion about creating shared values by connecting corporate profit and social contribution. The fourth session touched upon women’s role in creative industries.
“There is a need for a shift in economic paradigm to make the continuous creation of businesses and jobs possible,” said Vice Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning Yoon Jong-lok. “Using science and ICT, we need to create new industries by combining currently separate industries.”
“The essence of a creative economy is tapping an unutilized female workforce,” said Minister of Gender Equality and Family Cho Yoonsun. “To achieve a national employment rate of 70 percent, there need to be policies that enable women to maintain a work-life balance.”
Saadia Zahidi, head of human capital at the World Economic Forum (WEF), said that over time, a nation’s competitiveness will depend significantly on whether and how it develops and utilizes female talent.