Culture in Costa Rica generates more wealth than coffee and bananas

18 October 2013, Costa Rica

The Costa Rica culture industry in 2012 generated about $ 632 million, making a greater contribution to the economy than the two traditional exports, coffee and bananas, according to a government report released this week.

The Costa Rica Satellite Account, a program of the Ministry of Culture that brings together economists and experts in cultural management, issued its first annual report this week and revealed that in 2012 the contribution of culture to the economy represented a 1.4 % of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

"These results are very encouraging, showing that culture generates wealth and jobs," Anahí Moyano, general coordinator of the Satellite Account of Costa, told to AFP.
The report shows that the publishing, audiovisual and advertising sectors of generated a combined gross value amounting to 1.338 million dollars.

If the total costs are subtracted, the resulting aggregate amounts to $ 632 million, equivalent to 1.4% of GDP, says the document.

In contrast, in the same year, exports of coffee generated 0.8% of GDP and banana, 0.74%, products, until recently, had an enormous weight in the Costa Rican economy.

"The conclusion we can draw from this data is that culture is more than entertainment. Culture is an engine for development” said Moyano.
The survey data show that in 2012 in Costa Rica were published 2.7 million copies of books.

In that same year, a total of 9,596 people worked in the audiovisual sector, of which 57% in television, 34%, on radio and television and 10%, in film and video.

Speaking to the press, the Minister of Culture, Manuel Obregon, said that these figures show that "investing in culture is investing in people".

"We long to finally show that in Costa Rica you can live of art and live with dignity," Obregon said.