'London's creative touch is unmatched'

Not a city in the world has more talent than London when it comes to adding those creative touches that “differentiate a great product from a good product.”

Opening the London Design Festival, EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson also said the city’s ‘ideas, content and processes’ have made it a global hub for creative industries.

Calling these strengths “creative capital,” he hinted they were why Europe had “done a much better job” of retaining its global share of the high-value goods market than the US and Japan.

Such creative capital, he said, was also why Europe has retained its market share of the global market for hi-tech goods more than its two rivals, but the ‘key was how to use it.’

He pointed out that in 2007; about 70 per cent of European imports were intermediate products, destined for the ‘transformational industries’ in the UK.

“The design and creative industries matter so much precisely because they are where that value is being added,” Mr Mandelson said in his speech, reported by The Independent.

“They are providing not just the patented ideas – the blue prints if you like – but the aesthetic and creative touches that are what differentiate a great product from a good product.”

This “comparative advantage” when London makes things is based on “the ideas behind them, the sophistication of the content and the intelligent processes that produce them.”

Mandelson thinks the UK’s rivals, like China, knows this: he hinted the words ‘Made in London’ convey something real to people about ‘style, quality and integrity’, just like ‘Made in Italy.’

But the commissioner said Europe’s prosperity in this century will depend on how “we nurture those [the creative] industries and the services and manufacturing activity that they power.”

“That’s why it matters so much that the European economy stays open to goods, people and ideas and why we need to keep opening new global markets to our exporters.

“We’re not going to do that from behind high tariff walls of our own which is why…I will push back against those protectionists until my last day in the job.”

 Made in London and the UK are brands to be rightly proud of, he told the LDF adding, “a healthy design industry is absolutely key to that.”

 

19th September 2008

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