Promoting the Pacific Islands’ cultural industries


<p style="text-align: justify;">Indigenous Pacific Island art has not met with the commercial success that indigenous art from other parts of the world has. While its profile has been increasing in recent years, with more representation in global expos of indigenous art around the world, its artists are still in the early stages of commercialising their art in a gainful manner.<!--more--></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">A workshop to address this lacuna and throw up new ideas was held last week in Suva, Fiji, organised by the Pacific Islands Forum and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community with support from the European Union.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The workshop focused on developing participants’ entrepreneurial and business skills in areas such as business planning, product and market development, value chain assessment, and understanding of intellectual property and traditional knowledge rights. Representatives of a wide range of cultural industries – fashion, music, handicraft, film, fine arts and theatre – from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and Australia attended.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">In her opening remarks at the workshop, the Forum Secretariat’s Director of Economic Governance, Dr. Chakriya Bowman, emphasised the important role played by entrepreneurs in the development of Pacific economies, and the opportunities that awaited them in the cultural industries.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">“Through the commercial development of your skills and talents, you will create income for your families and communities, and you will also take your culture to a wider world,” Dr Bowman said.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Forum Secretariat is committed to the promotion of cultural industries, particularly through the work of Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I). As reported in last week’s Pacific Periscope, PT&amp;I will host the second <a title="Maketi Ples 2012" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Maketi Ples</strong></span></a> event in Sydney starting February 22.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">It will bring together outstanding artists from around the Pacific and showcase their talents to the Australian arts community. Creative works promoted through <a title="Maketi Ples 2012" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Maketi Ples</strong></span></a> have not only created demand in Australia but have been exported throughout the world.</p>
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