Forum in Belgrade Recognises Creative Economy as a Chance for Development

The Creative Economy Group, Belgrade,
20 December 2012, Serbia

On 5 - 7 November 2012, the first Creative Economy Forum (CEF) was held in Belgrade, Serbia.  The Forum was designed to instigate discussion between the private and public sectors regarding the development of Serbia's creative industries.

Approximately 200 participants from Serbia and West Balkan countries (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro) attended the forum, and the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) delivered training to 60 policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders from the creative industries.  The key speakers of the Forum included Prof. David Throsby, Macquarie University, Sydney, Jose Pessoa, Head of the Cultural Unit at the UNESCO Institute for statistics (UIS), Prof. Rikalovic Gojko, Faculty of Economics, Belgrade, Prof. Goran Petkovic, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Serbia, and Hristina Mikic, from the Modern Business School/Creative Economy Group, Belgrade.

The UIS made a presentation with a focus on the 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics, with the intention of faciliating capacity building of policy makers, researchers, statisticians and other stakeholders from the West Balkans region.  Prof. David Throsby gave a presentation about the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, and informed attendees of the new instruments and their relevance in the field of cultural policy.
The country in focus at the Forum was Australia, which was an initiative supported by the Australian Embassy and Her Excellency Dr Helena Studdert, Ambassador of Australia in Belgrade. Since 1994, Australia has built on a rich knowledge in managing the development of the creative sector as a key component of industry, technology, and cultural strategies. This Forum was the first step towards sharing Australian knowledge and experience in developing public policies for the creative industries in Serbia.

The preliminary results of an economic analysis of creative industries in Serbia, conducted by the Creative Economy Group, was presented at the session 'Towards Creative Industries Policy Solutions'. The results showed that the total economic contribution of the creative industries contributed to 7.2% of total employment, and 9.89% of the total GVA. The average growth rate of employment was between 1% to 6.4%, while the GVA growth rate was between 0.2% to 10.8%. It was found that every 5 jobs in the creative industries created 2 new jobs in public and independent sectors of the creative industries. It was discussed that the implementation of economic instruments into public policy during 2001-2009 had an significant effect on the creative industries in Serbia, with approximately 10% of the GVA being lost in 2009 due to the poor investment into the finance of culture and the creative industries. This research into Serbia's creative industries will be further expanded on in 2013. 
The Forum was organised by the Creative Economy Group, whose main objectives are to advocate for changes in legislation, procedures and the business environment, and to encourage a better position for the creative industries in the policy agenda. The Group also aims to foster policy action and interdisciplinary problem solving, and better coordinate the interests and inter-institutional cooperation among all stakeholders involved in the development of the creative industries, at both national and regional levels (West Balkan and SEE countries).

For more information about the forum, see

For more information about the creative industries initiatives between Australia and Serbia see:  and