Sharjah: Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) received a delegation from Italy on Monday to discuss the strengthening of bilateral relations in cultural, academic, and technological fields.

The delegation was received by SBA chairman Ahmad Bin Rakkad Al Ameri. The delegation comprised Fabrizio Sala, Vice President of Lombardy Region; Federico Bega, Chief Strategy Officer, Promos; Igor De Biasio, CEO of Arexpo SpA; Giuseppe Merenda, Director Foreign Direct Investment, ITA Dubai Desk; and Marwa El Ettr, Commercial Office, Consulate General of Italy in Dubai.

During the meeting held at the SBA headquarters, Al Ameri highlighted the authority’s mission, which aims to support and promote the publishing industry based on the vision of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

The chairman briefed the delegation on the roles, services and incentives offered to publishers from around the world at Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPCFZ), the world’s first publishing and printing free zone.

He also shared the achievements of the recently concluded 38th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF). Focusing on the history of cultural cooperation between Sharjah and Italy, Al Ameri informed the visiting delegation about the recently formed partnerships with Turin International Book Fair, Sharjah’s participation as Guest of Honour at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2020, and their cooperation with other Italian cultural entities.

Al Ameri said: “We highlighted to our Italian counterparts the strategic steps Sharjah has been taking over the years to enable the cultural scene in the UAE and the Arab region to continue to grow and flourish. Today, Sharjah is the UNESCO World Book Capital 2019 – an ambassador of Emirati and Arab culture at top international gatherings. We will continue on our journey to reach more milestones, as we popularise the UAE’s unique cultural project in the region and the world.”

The Italian delegation praised the efforts led by the emirate in the cultural, academic, economic and technological fields. They pointed out that Sharjah and many Italian cities share a common vision and aspirations.