Read the full remarks by the Secretary of State

According to research from the Inter-American Development Bank, if the creative economy, globally, were a country, it would already be equal to the fourth-largest economy in the world with the fourth-largest workforce and ranking ninth in the value of exports. That’s just the beginning. One advantage of the Information Age is the ability to be able to potentially increase markets for products that have traditionally been sold just locally, or out of a kiosk, or to tourists when they’re coming in. Not anymore. With the internet, we have a vast opportunity to show people how they can reach out across the planet. And in fact, it’s our imperative as a result to try to make sure we do that, to take talented producers and give them the ability to be able to reach out and connect to other people.

And that doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes planning, it takes people who’ve prepared to do some small level of investment, who put themselves on the line to create that connectivity. It takes a high degree of business know-how, some element of marketing and targeting skill. It requires people who care both about the financial end of things and also about the craftsmanship and the discipline that lends authenticity to the artwork that people want to sell.

-- Secretary of State John Kerry