China's creative economy – which includes books, film, music and video games – is growing faster than other countries, making it the world's driving force in the field over the past 15 years, says a new UN trade report.
The study from the UN Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, tracks national performance in the trade of creative goods and services between 2002 and 2015 and shows that China is the biggest single exporter and importer, with trade growing "exponentially" over the period.
China's performance is described in the report as "remarkable", because of its sustained growth over three decades, its dominance of the world market for creative goods and services, and its role in sustaining the regional and global creative economy.
Speaking to UN News, Amy-Louise Shelver from UNCTAD said the report shows that the view of China as simply "the factory of the world" is now outdated: "I think that's a one-dimensional view of what's actually happening in China. Obviously, China's growth over the past 20 to 30 years has certainly been based on its performance as a factory of the world: that's what it's used to kickstart its economy. Subsequent to that, there's been a massive broadening of China's goods and services offering, and it's important to see it as a multi-dimensional economy, not simply a manufacturing hub."