Monitoring the flow of cultural goods and services
A central goal of the Convention is to achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services around the world, particularly between developed and developing countries (Article 16).
To shed light on this area, the UIS has contributed a chapter analysing international trade data from various sources. The analysis shows the impact of trade agreements on the flows of cultural goods and services. A case study on feature film data examines the characteristics of cultural consumption, illustrating the diversity of cultural expressions.
For example, from 2004 to 2013 developing countries played a growing role in exports of cultural goods. However, this trend is largely due to China and India, both of which are increasingly competing with developed countries. Beyond these players, the great majority of developing countries play a marginal role in the export of cultural goods.
The influence of these two heavyweights, partly due to a shift in industrial practices and the rise of China in international trade, masks an emerging dynamism and creativity among certain developing countries. Bollywood and Nollywood, as the film industries of India and Nigeria are dubbed, are especially strong. The markets for these films tend to be concentrated in the regions where they are produced; and where they fill a strong demand for relevant, culturally-appropriate content.
More data required
While these data provide a partial picture of cultural trade, the report notes that much more data will be required to adequately monitor the provisions of the convention and its impact over time. To help support the goals of the convention and the wider monitoring of the role of culture in the Sustainable Development Goals, the UIS will be releasing a report on International Flows of Cultural Goods and Services, which analyses data from the past decade from a wide range of sources.
The UIS has also developed a global survey on cultural employment statistics to measure the contribution of culture to economic and social development, as well as the conditions of those engaged in cultural activities in the developed and the developing world.