Economic Development Minister Lennox Andrew has given Grenadians an insight into the plans of the 7-month old Congress government to build the Creative economy which he described as “a new area of economic activity that we are trying to build in Grenada.”
Addressing the government’s first post-Cabinet press briefing on Tuesday for 2023, Minister Andrew revealed plans to hold a national symposium of the Creative Industries on the island over a 4-day period at the end of March under the theme, “Unleashing Grenada’s Creative Power.”
He said the event will be organised by the Office of Creative Affairs which is now being established and the objective “is to raise awareness of the power of the Creative Economy in Grenada, its potential and challenges.”
“We want to exchange ideas, experiences and very importantly we want to chart a way forward with regards to the additional framework that needs to be put in place for the development of the Creative Industries in Grenada,” he told reporters.
“…We want to bring together the Creative Practitioners with imminent international and regional speakers, other stakeholders such as bankers, educators, policymakers, the legal professionals, to share their experiences so that we can chart the way forward for the development of the Creative industries,” he said.
According to the senior government minister who is the Member of Parliament for the rural St Andrew South-west constituency, the format being worked out will see the symposium take place along the lines of presentations and group sessions.
Minister Andrew disclosed that a critical part of the development of the Creative Industries is to map out a national cultural and creative industries policy strategy and the prerequisite legislation.
He sees this “as very important for driving and shaping the direction of this sector.”
He also mentioned the fact that the government will be giving “some very special fiscal incentives to assist those who are involved in the Creative industries” including 100% concessions on CET and VAT for selected equipment for a period of 12 months starting March 1.
Minister Andrew told reporters that the plan for the Creative industries under the Dickon Mitchell-led Congress administration also calls for “increased access for financing and technical assistance for all those who are involved in that industry.”
“So, we are going to establish a Creative Industries Development Fund and as indicated in the (2023) Budget we have an allocation of $2M.”
“We hope to launch this fund in the first half of the year and through it funding will be provided for all businesses who are registered to get support in the area of exporting their goods and services and for content.
In presenting the 2023 budget, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell addressed the issue of the Creative economy and said the following under the theme, “Jumpstarting the Creative Economy”:
“Mr. Speaker, the Creative Industries is fast becoming a new engine of growth and development in several Caribbean nations. This dynamic sector, which ranges from traditional arts to multimedia, has been an important driver of innovation and productivity growth.
Present studies argue that the Creative Industries can become a pillar for economic diversification and export growth in the Caribbean as this industry allows Governments to leverage the abundant talent and skill of Caribbean people and domestic capital to produce competitive products and services.
In addition, the sector is comparatively labour intensive and can, therefore, help to alleviate the chronic unemployment problem in the Caribbean. The Creative Economy – which comprises creative industries such as advertising, fashion, design, performing and visual arts, photography, music, architecture, film, podcasts, and computer programming – are the lifeblood of the creative economy.
Valued at over two trillion dollars in 2019, the sector contributes just over 6.1% to the global gross domestic product (GDP), averaging between 2% and 7% of national GDPs around the world.
The creative economy is not only one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy, but also highly transformative in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings.
Development of a National Cultural and Creative Industry Policy and Strategy
Mr. Speaker, this Administration is in the process of laying a solid foundation to ensure the success of the Creative Economy in the years ahead. As such we will invest in the development of a National Cultural and Creative Industry Policy and Strategy.
This strategy will outline a 5-to-10-year roadmap for the sector’s development.
Establishment of the Creative Industries Development Fund
Mr. Speaker, we have listened to the creative community and understand the challenges they face with funding their businesses and ideas.
Through the establishment of Grenada’s first-ever Creative Industries Development Fund, we will invest in registered creative businesses that are focused on the global export of products, services and content.
Special Fiscal Incentives
Of note, in this first year, Mr. Speaker, is the implementation of special fiscal incentives for the Creative Industry including 100% concessions on CET and VAT for selected equipment for 12 months, starting February 1, 2023.”