Cuba “The Music Island:” UNIDO and partners launch first ever Cuban music industry strategy

Cuba “The Music Island:” UNIDO and partners launch first ever Cuban music industry strategy

VIENNA, 4 October – A representative of the government of Cuba has launched a Cuban music industry strategy as part of the “Strengthening of the competitiveness, organizational performance and export capacity of the Cuban music industry” project. The project is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Ministry of Culture of Cuba (MINCULT) with financial support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

The launch of the strategy at UNIDO headquarters was attended by numerous diplomats from Latin America as well as from the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation.  During the presentation, three of the nine strategic actions were highlighted as areas of focus: adapting to the digital era, cultural tourism, and the development of a music cities model to boost local economic development.

Mario Escalona, National Project Director and Director of EGREM, the largest record label in Cuba, stressed the need “to work together to use all elements of the strategy to achieve the huge potential of the music industry in Cuba.”

Improving technologies and designing a digital platform for streaming and downloading music are key to the Cuban music industry adapting to the digital era. Speaking at the launch, Lee Yongsoo, Deputy Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Austria, affirmed that “Korea’s technological and marketing knowledge and Cuba’s rich musical talent and traditions make a truly great combination in a constantly evolving global music industry.”

Re-enforcing education in the music industry is another core component of the strategy and so far the project has provided training on topics including effective business models and intellectual property to over 300 music specialists in 56 institutions. A national information management system mapping the music industry value chain has been established and a music industry platform to explore international co-operation opportunities is under development. These are just some of the initial achievements of the project, which is aligned with UNIDO’s Strategic Technical Co-operation Programme for Cuba.

From 26 - 30 September 2017, a high level delegation of Cuban culture and music industry representatives and UNIDO’s project management team visited Seoul, South Korea as part of the project.  The study trip was highly successful in identifying business partnership opportunities and also sought to identify potential technical capacity building programmes to share best practices between the music industry players of both countries, and explore potential partnerships for market expansions and technology upgrade.

Bringing together key actors from the private, government and cultural sectors, UNIDO has been able to promote public-private partnerships to help boost industry development by improving integration and synergies along all stages of the Cuban music business value chain. The Ambassador of Cuba to Austria, Juan Antonio Fernandez Palacios, deemed partnerships to be “essential to the success of the project.”

Carlos Chanduvi Suarez, Chief of UNIDO’s Latin America and Caribbean Regional Division, also highlighted how the project forms part of “UNIDO’s holistic approach to broader activity in Cuba and promoting partnerships to achieve inclusive and sustainable industrial development.”

With cultural and creative industries generating income of US$2.25trn worldwide in 2015 (representing 3% of global GDP) and 29.8 million jobs, the music industry has huge potential to drive job creation, promote social and economic development in Cuba and significantly boost the Cuban tourism industry.

For more information, please contact:

Alejandro Rivera Rojas

Programme Officer

Regional Division – Latin America and Caribbean

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