Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett believes that the only way for the region to make inroads in the international audiovisual market is to pool its resources in the short-term.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM) workshop on the audiovisual sector at the Accra Beach Hotel yesterday, he opined that this collaboration did not necessarily refer to financial resources, but should include the wealth of talent and experience available in the region.

The Minister, referring to two critical policies which would have an impact on the development of the regional audiovisual sector – the Cultural Protocol of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, stressed that the participants should pay close attention to these two areas.

The convention, Mr. Blackett explained, seeks to bring a balance to the "flow of cultural exchanges between the developed and developing countries and allows countries to formulate and implement policies for the protection and promotion of cultural diversity."

He also expressed concern that not enough persons in the region understood the details and implications of the EPA and as such lauded the CRNM for hosting such an event.

"This initiative shows an understanding of the current needs of the sector, and of what is required if we are to develop it and if we are to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the EPA in a timely manner," Mr. Blackett said.

He added that he looked forward to seeing the results of the deliberations, with particular interest in the recommendations for policies, regulatory regimes and incentives which would help propel growth in the audiovisual sector.


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