Although there is no formal definition of cultural and creative industries in Portugal, the study on The Cultural and Creative Sector in Portugal commissioned by the Ministry of Culture (2009) brought a new public awareness to this subject. The method adopted drew, with some variations, on international studies such as the 2006 KEA’s The Economy of Culture in Europe report for the European Commission and the 2008 UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Report, among others, retaining a three-fold distinction between the core cultural activities, cultural industries and creative activities sectors. Referring to 2006 data, the report states that the cultural and creative sector in Portugal is equivalent to 2.8% of GNP added value and 2.6% of employment.
Creative Industries are growing in importance in Portugal, but still face many obstacles. The government’s current programme mentions the intention to promote public credit lines in order to develop and organise training in the cultural and creative industries, namely fashion and design. It also plans to articulate policies to support and promote cultural and creative industries in the audiovisual sector, tourism and vocational training. However, those measures are not yet implemented.
Several initiatives were promoted by the Ministry of Culture specific to the Portuguese situation:
- evaluation on the “Development of a Creative Industries Cluster in the Northern Region” which aims to evaluate the impact of these activities in this region, to know their evolution and the role they play or may come to play in the economy and society;
- project IN Serralves – Incubator of the Creative Industries aims to stimulate the development of companies or individuals pursuing creative and innovative activities with commercial potential (76 applications, 8 approved); and
- participation in the creation process of ADDICT – Agency for the development of Creative Industries – a private association of 49 entities located in the northern region that aims to implement an appropriate governance model to support the increased capacity and creative entrepreneurship, business growth and attractiveness of creative places.