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Sharjah Publishing City takes part in congress

International Publishers Association Congress in New Delhi highlights role of book fairs in trade, culture and knowledge

Gulf News

Sharjah: Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) participated in the 32nd edition of the International Publishers Association Congress (IPA Congress), organised by the International Publishers Association (IPA) and sponsored by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), in New Delhi, India.

Ahmad Al Ameri, chairman of SBA, participated in a panel discussion on ‘Bringing Publishing Markets Together’ alongside José Borghino, secretary General of IPA, and others.

Al Ameri said: “In Sharjah, we firmly believe that nothing is more important than true convergence between publishing markets, and the best way to do that is to curate book fairs. The Sharjah International Book Fair will be celebrating its 37th edition this year, in line with the vision of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, who constantly emphasised that the world can achieve tolerance and coexistence through books and knowledge.”

India’s annual book exports to the Arab world are valued at $30 million, he added.

Al Ameri said SIBF 2017 hosted 1,600 exhibitors from 60 countries, of which 120 publishers were Indian, and an array of accomplished authors from around the world, of whom 40 were Indian nationals.

The SBA chairman added that book fairs will always be global platforms that bring together all publishing industry experts. Despite technological and digital advances in social media and the business world, publishers, authors, illustrators and other book experts prefer to meet and strike deals personally in one-on-one meetings — and this is what usually happens at book fairs, he said.

Salim Omar Salim, manager of SPC, said: “This participation aligns with SPC’s dedication to attracting publishers from around the world by promoting its services and facilities, exemplified by the ease of access to not just the book production process from A-Z within one location; these advantages keep adding up with tax exemption, potential opportunities to cooperate and coordinate with international publishers, and other rewarding opportunities.”

During the IPA Congress, Al Ameri presented the Association of Publishers in India’s ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ to Peter Booth Wiley, chairman of Wiley & Sons, in recognition of the role of his publishing house in the global book industry.