VANSA Research and Dialogue on Creative Trade

VANSA has been leading on the research component of a project concerned with better understanding the international trade in South African creative and cultural goods and services as a basis for building dialogue between industry and government around increasing access to international markets for South African creative and cultural goods and services. Funded by the European Union, and undertaken in partnership with the British Council and the European Union National Institutes for Culture, together with Arterial Network South Africa, the project has also involved a particular focus on our trade with the European Union, and consideration of ways in which this key trade relationship might be strengthened in the area of cultural and creative goods and services.

Research on current data, approaches to data collection and the policy context for international trade was commissioned from Kaiser and Associates (Cape Town) working in partnership with KEA European Cultural Affairs (Brussels). This commissioned research has been undertaken alongside a series of separately commissioned case studies on the experience of individual businesses in accessing international markets, and on the role of trade events and industry platforms in promoting export.

A number of industry seminars and roundtable meetings have been convened around the country, including meetings with contemporary art galleries and craft and design businesses in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. Practical recommendations on how to improve our position in the international marketplace are presently being discussed with representatives from both industry and government through two ‘trade dialogue’ workshops, the second of which will be convened in Cape Town on October 10, 2013 in the wake of the 3rd African Creative Economy Conference organised by Arterial Network. Flowing from these workshops, the partners will be compiling a final reportback which will seek to draw attention to key findings from the research and consultations, and chart some clear recommendations for concrete and practical action on the part of both industry and government.

One very practical and positive result of the project is that VANSA is now in exploratory discussions with dti around looking at ways in which their financial incentives and subsidies for participation in international trade events might be more effectively accessed by commercial galleries in South Africa.

For a download of the seminar presentation concerned with visual art, craft and design, go here.

For a download of the short version of the commissioned research, go here.

For a download of the long version of the commissioned research report, go here.

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