Speech by UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Louise Chamberlain at CREATE4 – Fall Festival of Creative Industries

November 7, 2022

Dear Excellency, Mr. Baisalov Edil Zholdubayevich,

Distinguished guests,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the second-ever Festival of Creative Industries, the CREATE4. This is an occasion to celebrate the innovative mindset and talents of people living in Kyrgyzstan, share insights and get inspired with the creative vibes and ideas.

In April this year, CREATE4 was established with the aim of fostering a continuing dialogue platform for creators, government, academia and other stakeholders interested in the development of creative economy in Kyrgyzstan. UNDP is excited about our productive partnership with the Association of Creative Industries in building this unique collaboration and promoting “JARATMAN KYRGYZSTAN” (Creative Kyrgyzstan) together. We also appreciate the hospitality of the American University of Central Asia, official partner of the Festival, and look forward for further fruitful cooperation.

CREATE4 is also an important opportunity to showcase the potential of the creative sector to create livelihoods and contribute to the growth of the Kyrgyz economy. We highly appreciate the efforts of the Government in supporting creative economy as a priority area and creating favorable conditions for its development. And we are honored to welcome His Excellency Edil Zholdubayevich, as the Chief Guest at this event – his presence signals how important this new direction is for the country, and the significant potential for the country of awakening the country’s creative potential for benefit of the economy.

We are glad that, as a result of consolidated efforts of various stakeholders, Kyrgyzstan is making history with the establishment of a Park of Creative Industries. We hope that this will have significant impact on enhancing income-generating opportunities, promote export-oriented products, create new jobs, revitalize traditional economic sectors and stimulate regional development.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the creative economy is already paving the way to a truly innovative, progressive, inclusive and technologically advanced development of Kyrgyzstan which catalyzes development in other spheres. To make the most of this momentum, we should be agile and even opportunistic in the design and development of the creative ecosystem. We call on the government to make our cities SMART, connected, safe, and attractive for local and international creators including the famous “sanarip kөchmөn” (“digital nomads”). There is a need to improve connectivity and infrastructure as well as air quality to ensure Bishkek and other cities are clean, friendly, supported with functioning public services, where rule of law is respected, and attractive places to live. These things can be achieved by several entities in the government working together and with the support of private sector and civil society.

It is also essential to mainstream gender equality and promote women’s equal participation, because women represent at least half of the creativity in this country, if not more! And we trust that the Government will help the people consolidate their efforts to sustain and bolster the spirit of freedom in the Kyrgyz Republic. The freedom of speech, free thoughts and expressions are among the fundaments for development of a creative economy and prosperous Kyrgyzstan.

I would like to thank all of you who have made this event possible and for blessing this event with your presence, both in Bishkek and online.  Today’s Festival is broadcast to all seven regions of Kyrgyzstan including through 10 UNDP Youth Centers and the Osh IT Hub.

UNDP is committed to build, nurture and strengthen alliances with all national partners including also the private sector to deepen creative industries engagement and support local creators. If we can together harness the potential that the cultural and ethnic diversity of Kyrgyzstan offers for the growth of a creative economy, we can make a real impact on the well-being, dignity, inclusion and equality and sustainable development in Kyrgyzstan, thereby advancing the country’s scope for reaching several of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Distinguished guests - I hope you have already felt, like I have, the creative vibe of this wonderful Festival, and will be encouraged to join us to innovate and invest in yours and others’ creativity for the benefit of the country. Thank you, and I hope you enjoy creating and networking today.