G20 Meeting on ‘The Rise of the Cultural Economy: A New Paradigm’
The Saudi Ministry of Culture and the G20 Saudi Secretariat recently arranged a virtual meeting under the theme ‘The Rise of the Cultural Economy: A New Paradigm’ as part of the International Conferences Program honoring the G20 Saudi presidency. The Group of 20 culture ministers vowed to help the $2.3 trillion cultural economy. They addressed heritage protection, sustainable development, and culture as catalysts of economic growth at the inaugural meeting. Italy’s Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism Ministry will host the next meeting to discuss the cultural economy during the country’s G20 presidency in 2021.
They concentrated on the use of emerging technologies, on the creation of digital platforms for creative expression while making it easier to access cultural resources.
UNESCO places annual sales at $2.3 trillion from the cultural and artistic sectors and exports at over $250 billion. Cultural and creative sectors employ about 30 million people worldwide, although some projections place their contribution to the global gross domestic product at around 10 percent in the foreseeable future.
This high-level cultural presence at the Saudi G20 presidency reflects a common belief in the critical role of culture in driving the economies’ innovation ecosystem. It is generally seen as a great duty to conserve common heritage for future generations and sustainably generate and disseminate culture.
The virtual meeting comes at an incredibly difficult time with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to influence all spheres of existence, pushing individuals to use the internet to adopt alternative forms of communication. It is precisely in a challenging moment like the one currently being witnessed that the fundamental values of culture will serve as the basis for rebirth. The extreme crisis caused by the pandemic has laid the groundwork for a significant revolutionary turning point in the proliferation of new technologies. This accessibility showed the resilience of the cultural economy and, by revolutionary means of creative industries, helped stimulate economic growth to increase the global exchange of cultural goods and services.
On the sidelines of the conference, the Saudi Ministry of Culture announced the establishment of a world-class center for the management, conservation, and protection of underwater cultural heritage in the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea. The center, which will be associated with the Heritage Commission of the Ministry, will be in charge of developing the sector in Saudi Arabia and the region. This will be done across several programs aimed at strengthening field research.