Jamaican PM backs sports-culture marriage to boost economy

Portia-Simpson-MillerKingston (Jamaica), March 5 : Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says the Jamaican government is backing a marriage between sports and the creative and cultural industries as a major driving force for the country's economic development.

Miller said while the creative and cultural industries are important, they have not been able to bring Jamaica to the heights which sport has achieved.

"There are some who may not make the connection between the creative and cultural industries and sport and many still think of those industries merely as the performing and audio visual arts," said Prime Minister Miller, who is also the minister of sport.

"However, the creative and cultural industries concept is actually a policy development framework and another element of this Government's emphasis on planned development."

The Jamaican leader was addressing stakeholders of the national sport associations and federations at a specially-convened meeting to discuss strategic priorities for sport in Jamaica for 2013/14 and the Draft White Paper National Sport Policy.

Miller says cultural outputs that assist in the promotion of music, drama, dance, art, and special events management must be examined and combined under the banner of sports and the cultural and creative industries.

"I am sure this would lift Jamaica's profile even higher than we are now. I think that we can go further," the prime minister said.

"Our sporting heritage has been phenomenal and our cultural output has arrested the attention of the world independent of each other."(IANS)

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