Sharjah: Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone introduced Latin American publishers to the Arab Book Market during its participation at the 25th São Paulo International Book Fair this year.
The world’s very first publishing and printing free zone used the platform to give publishers, publishing professionals and literary agents in Brazil and South America a comprehensive overview of the instrumental role Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) can play in guiding and bolstering their business expansion efforts into Arab markets and in identifying a range of business and cultural opportunities they can leverage through a regional presence based out of the city.
At the fair, SPC revealed that the Arab world consumes over $1 billion worth of imported books, of which approximately $176 million is the UAE’s share — the largest percentage consumed by a country out of the 22 that comprise the region. Of this number, $3 million were highlighted as Latin America’s contribution leaving ample room with growth opportunities.
Salim Omar Salim, director of SPC, said: “We believe that Sharjah’s participation signals a new era in the Brazilian–Emirati collaboration to further the books trade between our regions. SPC will help fulfil these ambitions by enabling international publishers to serve frontier markets and minimise costs through a range of targeted value chain offerings.
“The estimated value of the UAE’s publishing market is $233 million, which is expected to triple in size by 2030. Of this, the category ‘imported other language’ titles holds the lion’s share and as such presents a sizeable opportunity for Brazilian and other Latin American publishers looking to make their way into the Gulf.”
SPC opened its doors to the global publishing market last year as a response to the growing need for a specialised publishing and printing hub in the Arab region that can offer world-class infrastructure, excellent air and sea links, supportive laws and flexible government regulations, competitive costs and a skilled in-house workforce to support the regional operations of international businesses.
As the guest of honour at the 25th São Paulo International Book Fair, Sharjah has played a significant role in representing the UAE and Arab world at one of Latin America’s premiere publishing events, and taken a leap forward in furthering regional efforts to stimulate dialogue and extend bridges of communication with other cultures.