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During the forum. (Photo: WAM)

The seventh edition of the “CEOSpeak- a Forum for Publishing’ was also held on the sidelines of the fair, which offered Emirati and Indian publishers a common platform for exploring emerging business opportunities and discussing shared challenges … reports Asian Lite News.

During the forum. (Photo: WAM)

The recent efforts of Sharjah, and the UAE to advance the region’s publishing sector were highlighted during the ongoing New Delhi World Book Fair 2019, in which the emirate was being honoured.

The seventh edition of the “CEOSpeak- a Forum for Publishing’ was also held on the sidelines of the fair, which offered Emirati and Indian publishers a common platform for exploring emerging business opportunities and discussing shared challenges.

Held by the National Book Trust, NBT, and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry on 6th January, the forum brought together CEOs from leading companies and publishing representatives.

Among the attendees were Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations; Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, SBA; Tamer Said, Managing Director of the Kalimat Group; Ali Al Shaali, Vice President, of the Emirates Publishers Association, EPA; Baldev Bhai Sharma, Chairman of the NBT; Dilip Shenoy, Secretary-General of the FICCI, and Vikrant Mathur, Director of Nielsen, India.

The programme began with a keynote address by Al Ameri, which highlighted the importance of promoting reading and literacy, as well as the relevant role of publishers in India and the UAE.

During the forum. (Photo: WAM)

“Reading and literacy are the beating heart of Sharjah. Our ambition to promote knowledge around the world is reflected by our efforts to develop the international publishing industry, as envisioned by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. The newest symbol of such efforts was the opening of Sharjah Publishing City in October 2017. The first publishing and printing free zone in the world to support businesses worldwide in gaining access to the Arabic book market has already become home to international companies from 17 countries, including India,” Al Ameri said.

“The interest of Indian publishers in the UAE market, and vice-versa, will continue to grow in the coming years, as both markets have considerable potential. That is why such forums are important, as we can come together to explore new opportunities and discuss and share book-trade opportunities and challenges,” he added.

During his presentation, Al Shaali explained the realities of the UAE’s publishing industry, while highlighting key statistics on the book trade between the UAE and India.

“It is important to have a clear understanding of how we can build on the knowledge possessed by the two countries through stronger cooperation and sharing expertise,” Al Shaali noted.

He also suggested three possible initiatives that the governments of both countries can explore to encourage further exchanges between publishing professionals and literary experts.

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