Public-Private Partnerships and the Creative Sector: Through Initiatives Such as the Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity and the Creative Cities Network, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Has Highlighted the Importance of Fostering Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) as a Model for Making Cultural and Creative Industries the Drivers of Economic Growth

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In recent years, the idea that development is solely a matter for governments has been replaced by a clear recognition of the role of both the private sector and civil society. The UN Global Compact has played a pioneering role in encouraging PPPs. From UNESCO's perspective, this new vision applies particularly to the cultural and creative industries, which, with a global value of US$ 1.3 trillion, constitute one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world economy today. The promotion of viable, creative industries in developing countries is indispensable to developing the full human development and economic growth potential of artistic creativity and talent, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises. The key challenge facing policy-makers is to create enabling environments for effective local and national initiatives, many of which must be based on new forms of PPPs.

UNESCO's 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions enshrines the principle of PPPs in the cultural sector. In addition, through its Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity launched in 2001, UNESCO has explored many different facets of PPPs in support of cultural industry projects in developing countries. This alliance is evolving into a more ambitious electronic platform focused on fostering tri-sectoral partnership agreements in the cultural sector, by providing actors from the public, private and civil society sectors a wealth of knowledge and contact information.

UNESCO's long-standing book, publishing and crafts programmes have also highlighted key gaps that can only be overcome through cooperation and collaboration between respective stakeholders. In many developing countries, these industries struggle to attain their potential because they are plagued by weak institutional and political infrastructure, insufficient levels of entrepreneurial capability, limited added value, over-dependence on foreign firms and massive copyright infringement.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network applies the lessons learnt from such partnerships. The network is designed to promote social, economic and cultural development through fostering creative partnerships in the fields of literature, music, design, crafts and folk arts, cinema, media arts and gastronomy. …