G20 cultural leaders vow to boost $2.3trln global cultural economy

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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G20 Cultural Meet
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Cultural leaders from 20 of the world’s largest economies (Group of 20 or G20) along with other nations extended their support to the world’s $2.3 trillion cultural economy.

Participants agreed to continue their dialogue with annual meetings of the forum. The next meeting in the series to discuss the cultural economy will be hosted by Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism during its country’s presidency of the G20 in 2021.

Under the theme “The rise of the cultural economy: a new paradigm,” culture ministers and officials from international organizations in their inaugural meeting discussed heritage preservation, sustainable development and culture as a catalyst for economic growth.

The talks focused on employing new technologies, developing digital platforms for artistic expression while making cultural resources more easily accessible.

During his closing remarks in the gathering, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud stated that “This high-level cultural presence at Saudi G20 Presidency illustrates our shared belief in the vital role of culture in propelling the innovation ecosystem of economies. The onus is on us to preserve our shared heritage for future generations and to produce and disseminate culture in a sustainable manner.”

Culture and creative activity represent an important part of the global economy, with UNESCO valuing revenue from the sectors at $2.25 trillion, with exports at more than $250 billion.

The sectors also employ some 30 million people globally, with forecasts estimating they will contribute to around 10 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) in the future.

The first G20 culture ministers meeting, organized by the Saudi Ministry of Culture and G20 Saudi Secretariat was virtual due to the unfavorable travel circumstances created by the pandemic

The Kingdom also announced its underwater cultural heritage in the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf. The center, announced on the sidelines of the G20 cultural meet, will be responsible for developing the underwater cultural heritage sector in the Kingdom and the region.