Against the backdrop of the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, we celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Day today, recognising the significant role of creativity and innovation in advancing economic and social progress.

Creative potential, when harnessed, forges and uncovers new pathways for income generation, job creation, entrepreneurship and cultural diversity. According to 2019 statistics from the United Nations, creative industries, including visual and performing arts, new media and fashion, generate US$2.25 billion in revenue and 29.5 million jobs worldwide every year. Along with their enormous economic value, these sectors also hold tremendous cultural significance, fostering a sense of identity, understanding and inclusion for individuals and the community.

Trinidad and Tobago is no stranger to the creative arts. The complex history, diverse experiences and callaloo of cultures that make up our rainbow nation find rich expression through music, dance, theatre, and our many festivals and traditions. Home to Carnival, the greatest show on earth, and the Divali Nagar, the largest celebration of Divali outside of India, this country is a cultural mecca and an incubator of immense talent, ingenuity and skill.

That our local creatives are gifted, enterprising and forward-thinking is undeniable. The Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the cultural sector, but our artistes have fought to sustain, reformat and repackage their trade. Many among the population were thrilled to absorb the televised productions of Lavway, Yaadein and the various other virtual or socially distanced presentations, concerts, competitions and fetes that replaced the customary highly anticipated events on the cultural calendar.

Now more than ever, creative industries require greater attention and investment from the state, private sector and every member of the national community. We all have a part to play in supporting and promoting our indigenous products and artistes. As we mark World Creativity and Innovation Day, we redouble our efforts to strengthen and establish the Trinbago brand and ensure its sustainability and success.