Media Center

Press Release

OAS, IDB, and British Council Present the Study “The Economic Impact of the Creative Industries in the Americas”

  January 16, 2014

The Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the British Council, today presented the report “The Economic Impact of the Creative Industries in the Americas” in Santiago, Chile, in an event organized by Santiago Creativo-CORFO, a program of the Ministry of Economy of Chile, in the framework of the 6th World Summit on Arts and Culture (IFACCA).

The report, was produced by the three institutions to show the important contribution to growth, jobs, and trade in the Hemisphere generated by creative and cultural activities such as the arts, design, music, and advertising, among others. According to data compiled by Oxford Economics in the study, some $640 billion was the value of the world’s exports of creative goods and services in 2011, of which $87 billion or 14 percent originated in the Americas.

The report which compiles existing quantitative data on the economic performance of the creative and cultural industries, surveys 44 countries—including 34 countries in the Americas and 10 benchmark countries from other regions around the world. It also recommends ways to improve and standardize national measurement frameworks to better track trends within and across countries and support more evidence-based policymaking.

One of the important analyses in the study focuses on the contribution by creative industries to GDP, which varies widely across the region: from just under 2 percent in Chile to more than 10 percent in Brazil and the United States. Growth rates in the sector are consistently higher than the average of the economy. It also reflects that the creative sector is also an important source of employment in some countries, providing between 5 and 11 percent of jobs in Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago. The sector has a higher percentage of youth employment than the rest of the economy. Also, the creative sector is becoming increasingly international: exports from the countries in the Americas accounted for 2.2 percent of all foreign sales of goods and services.

In presenting the study at the 6th World Summit on Arts and Culture, the OAS, IDB, and British Council expressed their hope that the study would raise awareness of the creative sector's enormous potential for economic development and innovation for the region. They also pointed to the critical need to move forward toward more harmonized and rigorous measurement mechanisms already underway to ensure appropriate policy responses to the sector's needs and opportunities. The three institutions pledged to continue their joint collaboration to promote the creative economy in the hemisphere. The OAS contribution to the report was possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of Canada and the People’s Republic of China.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-017/14