The globalisation of cultural trade: a shift in consumption

International flows of cultural goods and services 2004-2013

1 Jun 2016

With the adoption of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development in 2015, culture is recognised globally as an enabler and contributor to sustainable development. This agenda presents the world with a challenge to measure more accurately the contribution of culture. As the global leader in the measurement and analysis of culture, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) plays a leading role in the production and analysis of internationally-comparable cultural statistics. Statistics on the international trade of cultural goods and services are an important contributor to the measurement of the economic contribution of cultural industries to the global economy.

This report uses the methodology outlined in the 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics to analyse trends in the international trade of cultural goods and services from 2004 to 2013. Through the use and analysis of various international trade data sources, this report provides insight into the similarities and differences of the export and import of cultural goods and services between developed and developing countries. It analyses the impact that digitisation has had on how cultural goods are consumed globally. Finally, the effect that the financial crisis of 2008 and resulting economic downturn had on the trade of cultural goods and services is also examined.

This report represents a step forward in our understanding of the trends in the global trade of cultural goods and services. It is a valuable resource for policymakers, academics and others interested in a longitudinal analysis of international cultural trade. This report has been enriched by the contributions from various international organizations such as UNSD, WTO, UNCTAD, ITC and WIPO which also exemplifies the existing cooperation among international organizations towards the improvement trade statistics.

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