Copyright © United Nations 2008
All rights reserved
Material in this publication may be freely quoted or reprinted as long as acknowledgement
is provided with a reference to the source. A copy of the publication containing the quotation
or reprint should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat at: Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, and to the UNDP Special Unit for South-South
Cooperation, 1 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017 USA.
This Report is the fruit of a collaborative effort that was led by UNCTAD and the UNDP Special
Unit for South-South Cooperation and that included a team of experts from the
collaborating UN agencies – UNCTAD, UNDP, UNESCO, WIPO and ITC – as well as international
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply
the expression of any opinion whatsoever concerning the legal status of any country,
territory, city or area, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
The English version of the full report and the French and Spanish versions of its
overview section are currently available on the Internet at the addresses indicated below:
http://www.unctad.org/creative-economy and http://ssc.undp.org/creative_economy
C R E AT I V E E C O N O M Y R E P O R T 2 0 0 8
The world economy has clearly seen an
extraordinary expansion in the past five years.
This expansion has been more broadly based
than ever before, allowing many developing
countries to benefit from it. Even some of the
least developed countries have been able to gen-
erate average annual GDP growth of more than
5 per cent, representing significant progress over
that made in the 1990s. Nevertheless, this path
of economic growth has not yet been sufficient
to ensure the welfare and decent living standards
for the large majority of people in the develop-
ing world. Despite efforts to diversify their
economies, 86 of 144 developing countries still
depend on commodities for more than half
their export earnings.