Creative Industries lead Iceland recovery

Valerie | 25 Sep 2009, 13:55

Iceland’s creative industries are vital to re-building the country’s economy, Iceland’s minister for Industry has told delegates in a welcome address at the country’s You Are In Control conference.

Now in its third year, YAIC explores the latest digital business developments and investment available in music, media and the arts, focusing on new business models, the impact of the digital revolution on in the creative industries and how today’s creatives can work together – all key areas that will be addressed at the c&binet forum next month.

According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OLED) Iceland’s economy is set for a slow but nascent recovery early next year. The OLED projects Iceland’s economic contraction at around 7 percent this year and has forecast a 0.8 percent contraction in GDP for 2010.

Having faced its deepest recession in decades and the complete collapse of its banking system, it is welcome news and demonstrates the economic potential of creative industries both in Iceland and in countries such as China and the UK, where creative sectors have become engines for regional economic development.

Iceland has long been famed for its natural beauty and in recent years its unusual landscape has attracted Hollywood movies and seen its profile grow in the international film industry, aided by films such as Stardust, Batman Begins and James Bond: Die Another Day, whilst the achievements of Björk and Sigur Ros have put Iceland firmly on the map of International Music.

Concluding his address, Katrín Júlíusdóttir, the Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism said:

“We must get the message across that we are more than geysers, volcanos, waterfalls - and now fallen banks. Here you will also find creative people, culture and modern industries.
“... the government hopes (to) join forces with creative industries, the tourist industry and other important players to reshape the way we approach international marketing of Iceland as the source of culture, goods and services, as a destination and as a country to operate and invest in.”