The creative industries cluster accounted for 3.3% of all global investment projects from January 2003 to July 2008, with 2157 projects, according to fDi Intelligence.

This represents an estimated investment of $31bn and the creation of more than 135,000 jobs. Although the creative industries cluster has grown overall by 43% from 282 projects in 2003 to 404 projects in 2007, this figure fell from a peak of 457 projects in 2006.

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There has also been an increase in jobs created and capital expenditure, each reaching a peak in 2007, with 28,609 jobs created and $5.92bn being spent.

The latest data from fDi Intelligence shows that the number of projects created in the first seven months of 2008 has already reached 333 projects, with nearly $4.5bn of investment creating about 20,000 jobs. If this trend continues, 2008 is set to be a record year.

By the Numbers

The creative industries cluster can be broken down into four main segments: (1) software and IT services, comprising of software development, games software, etc; (2) business services, comprising of advertising and public relations companies, marketing agencies and brand management; (3) paper, printing and packaging, comprising of newspapers and magazine printing; and (4) communications, comprising of broadcasting and radio.

An estimated $31bn-worth of investment has been recorded by fDi Intelligence in creative industries, of which about $12bn was in software and IT services. The largest capital investment for a project was within communications, especially broadcasting.

US firms have developed a clear lead in crossborder creative industry investments. Since 2003, US firms have made a total of 777 investments. US firms made more than 140 creative industry investments in 2007, about three times the number of investments made by UK firms, which are in second place. The leading investor from the US is Omnicom Group, which accounted for 28 of investments since 2003. Other major players are from the UK, France and Germany.The number of projects from UK firms is rapidly increasing, with 62 in the first seven months of 2008 compared to 56 in the whole of 2007.

As well as being the second leading source of investment, since 2003 the UK has attracted the highest volume of creative industry projects worldwide, with 241 projects (24 % of all creative industries projects were in Europe), although in 2008 so far, the US has eclipsed the UK, helped by the cheap dollar.

By mid 2008 India and Italy exceeded 2007 levels of inward investment in creative industries. India is strong in digital media projects and Italy in areas related to mobile technologies and design.

Dr Henry Loewendahl is product director for fDi Intelligence.

Email: henry.loewendahl@ft.com

Creative Industries Market Share of the Global FDI Market, 2003-July 2008

Source: fDi Intelligence