Creative economy most feasible development option

May 2, 2013 Off By Web Desk

Islamabad: The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Iqra University on Thursday launched a Creative Industry Centre and Image Bank at the university’s Islamabad campus to support women entrepreneurship by establishing strong links between academia and industry.

Top officials of both institutions and large number of women entrepreneurs including fashion designers and students were present on the occasion.

Those who spoke on the occasion included Project Manager of Unido’s Women Entrepreneurship Development Programme Mr. Marlen Bakalli, Unido Consultant Giulio Vinaccia, National Programme Coordinator Shahina Waheed, Chancellor Iqra University Hunaid Hussain Lakhani, Dean Dr. Muhammad Islam and representatives of the First Women Bank Limited.

They said that designing has become an important tool for rapid economic development as many countries are earning more from fashion designing as compare to auto industry, mining and finance etc.

Creative industry is future engine of growth; it is an area in which many developing countries including Pakistan enjoy comparative advantage, the said.

The experts said that increasing commercialization of the creative sector has created a window of opportunity as it is one of the fastest growing sectors which is at seven per cent of the global GDP are growing over ten per cent annually despite global economic decline.

The speakers said that creative industry has not been mentioned in the Pakistan’s Industrial Policy which is discouraging and that all stakeholders should strive to make the importance of this subject felt at highest policy level.

The creative economy should be well-inserted into the economic and development agenda which will diversify economy of Pakistan.

Mr. Lakhani said that both institutions have joined hands to strengthen the design expertise by linking designers to entrepreneurs. The Image Bank will serve as a hub of cultural graphics and indigenous images for designers and entrepreneurs to promote, and develop the creative industry.

Ms Waheed said that Unido’s Women Entrepreneurship Development Programme has been designed to facilitate synergies between public and private sector institutions and provide gender-sensitized institutional and technical support.

We are focusing on the integration of women in highly non-traditional sectors of marble, gems, jewellery and textiles by applying our model of Value Chain Analysis.

Women are trained as producers and entrepreneurs and connected to the value chain to become productive members of the industry, she informed.We are trying to inspire women entrepreneurs to move from traditional to contemporary design while preserving the rich cultural heritage of Pakistan, said Shahina Waheed.