Cultural and creative industries, key to our foreign policy


France’s cultural and creative industries (known as ICC in French) lie at the crossroads of economic diplomacy and soft power and have become a strategic pillar for France’s cultural diplomacy led by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. France’s cultural network abroad is well positioned to drive these efforts: 37 cultural network posts, embassies, consulates and cultural institutions are invested in the cultural and creative industries priority mission for 2020-2022, which today aims to span across France’s entire network abroad.

Cultural and creative industries are responsible for nearly €92 billion in revenue in France, with 12% coming from exports, and 2.3% from national GDP (in 2019), generating nearly as much revenue as the agrifood industry and twice as much as the automobile industry. After three years of robust efforts, the first stocktake in 2022 is largely positive.

A priority mission

The ICC priority mission was established in 2020 to support professionals in cultural and creative industries in 37 countries that were chosen for their strong development and export potential. Over three years, this mission provided support to professionals in influential and emerging countries (cultural start-ups, publishers, museum experts, film-makers, video game and series developers, etc.) and helped structure local ecosystems in developing countries (creating incubators, structuring industries, providing copyright support, etc.).

Tangible outcomes

The Best of ICC showcases a number of emblematic initiatives conducted by diplomatic network posts among the more than 200 ICC priority mission projects.

A programme of exchanges and innovation

From 6 to 8 October, the Création Africa forum was held focusing on cultural and creative industries. With an innovative approach, it aims to build creative bridges between France and countries in Africa.

Organized with the support of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, and in partnership with the Agence Française de Développement, Business France, the Banque Publique d’Investissement (Bpifrance) and Institut Français, Création Africa focuses on the growing industries of TV series, animation films, immersive universes (video games, the metaverse and XR), and publishing (comics).

Click here for the full programme on the offical website for the event.

Strategic outlook

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs aims to perpetuate, expand and showcase this programme. The goal is clear: to make promoting cultural and creative industries a key focus of cooperation in the cultural network and to train a Team France to work on cultural and creative industries abroad, with the Institut Français and Business France.

This overview of the ICC priority mission is a valuable resource for culture professionals who wish to develop their projects abroad. It confirms the growing commitment of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and its cultural network and agencies to promoting French cultural and creative industries internationally.

Find out more about France’s political actions regarding cultural diplomacy.

Updated : october 2023