KINGSTON, Jamaica – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has called for a plan to be devised collectively by Caribbean governments to develop the regional creative economy also called the Orange economy.
Grange made the call during a panel discussion entitled 'Caribbean Leaders Open Dialogue on the Orange Economy: A Path for Caribbean Development’ on Wednesday.
Grange said that the Caribbean governments have to facilitate and enable the development of a regional creative economy, which would include the financing and promotion of the sector.
“Our governments have to play the role of facilitator and enabler when it comes to developing the Orange economy. Governments need to be initiating action to promote the creative economy promoting access to financing for the sector,” she said.
“As with other sectors, governments must promote more opportunities for training and development in the various fields of industry and covering all aspects of creative economy eco-system.”
“Our governments must also be more forceful in encouraging developed nations more to fulfil the obligations they have asserted in various international fora. For example, the European Union has offered to our CARIFORUM Region through the Protocol on Cultural Cooperation preferential access to the markets of the EU in accordance with UNESCO 2005 Convention,” she added
She also indicated that the Orange economy would include will serve various sectors which includes designs, visual arts, music, software among others, while noting that since Jamaica re-opened the sector, there was a J$17 million boost in the nation’s GDP.
“The Orange economy includes all sectors whose goods and services are based on the creation of intellectual property, such as design and visual arts, tourism and cultural heritage, new media and software, performing arts, music, and literary arts and publications,” she said.
“It is noteworthy that in the quarter in which Jamaica re-opened the sector, there was a J$17 billion spike in the country’s GDP. The Orange Economy then has great economic potential. It is for this reason that I lobbied for grants to the ECCI sector in the amount of J$90 million to help both individual and corporate bodies involved in the Orange economy.”
Grange said that if the Orange economy is to promote economic diversification for Caribbean nations, governments must identify ways in micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) can benefit from the sector.
“If the Orange Economy is to become the pillar of economic diversification in the Caribbean, there is need to understand its trajectory and to identify the way that MSMEs can benefit from the development,” she said.
“Over 50 per cent of the region’s gross domestic product and at least 60 per cent of total employment is generated by MSMEs, so our boosting of the Orange economy is a proven and credible path to Caribbean economic development,” she added.
Grange said the major follow-up to the panel discussion should be a regional conference and more international partnerships on the Orange economy.
Other members of the panel were Michael Browne, Minister of the Creative Industries for Antigua and Barbuda, Machel Montano, calypsonian of Trinidad and Tobago and Alfonso Garcia Mora, Vice President Latin America, Caribbean and Europe International Finance Corporation.
The virtual panel discussion was organised by the Caribbean Association of World Bank, IMF, IDB and PAHO Staff and the Executive Directors’ Offices representing the Caribbean.