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Colombia hoping to be 'Latin American Silicon Valley,' president tells Euronews

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Colombia hoping to be 'Latin American Silicon Valley,' president tells Euronews
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Colombian President Ivan Duque has been telling creative industry experts, gathered on the French Riveria, how he's focusing on the Orange economy to drive growth and employment.

Duque, who took office last August, says Colombia's creative sectors represent more in GDP than coffee and mining and have become an engine of young employment.

He was speaking at the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which brings together thousands of representatives from the branded communications, advertising and marketing industries on the southern French coast.

After taking to the stage, he spoke to Euronews Correspondent Damon Embling in Cannes.

Music and movies

“You know, the Orange economy, the creative economy, plays a very important role in Colombia. We’re talking about a sector that represents in the Colombian GDP more than coffee and more than mining. So, this is a very important industry, generates lots of employment, and we came here to share the policies that we have embraced in order to make it something bigger," Duque explained.

He continued: “Colombia has many sectors that are growing rapidly. I would say the movie sector in Colombia has grown a lot in the last decade. I also see publicity, or advertising, represents almost 0.3 percent of GDP which is something that is significant.

"And last, but not least, the music industry in Colombia is also growing very fast and when you connect it to traditional sectors such as tourism, we got in 2018 the best year of tourism and it was the best year of the musical festivals in Colombia.”

'Latin American Silicon Valley'

Duque told Euronews: “This is a sector that has become a very important engine of young employment, it has become an engine of integrating the arts with the fourth industrial revolution. When I assumed office, these sectors were heavily taxed, so we tried to reduce taxation on corporations in order to have more investment.

"But another thing is, we also wanted to have more start-ups in the creative and technology sectors and we embraced a policy of zero income tax for the first seven years with a minimum amount of investment and a minimum amount of jobs being created. I hope Colombia will become the Latin American Silicon Valley.”

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