Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), has called for enhanced solidarity across the entire value chain of the Arab publishing industry to foster a nurturing environment that supports the transformation of the sector into a global cultural heavyweight.
A strong translation infrastructure, together with diversified global partnerships can transform the potential of Arab publishing into a reality, leading to a new renaissance in Arab culture, said the IPA President while delivering a keynote address titled “Global Publishing: The Way Forward” at the Professional Publishing Conference, held on the sidelines of the 10-day Riyadh International Book Fair (RIBF) 2021 that opened on October 1 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a historic opportunity to reimagine the industry, Bodour Al Qasimi encouraged Arab publishers to adopt a forward-looking approach integrated with sustainable business models to fully transform their vision, mindsets and businesses to ready themselves for operating at a global level.
The IPA President also called on industry stakeholders to deliver innovative content and support cultural dialogue between east and west by sharing Arab stories and voices with the rest of the world.
In addition, Bodour Al Qasimi announced that the IPA Academy, a centralised global training resource for all members, aimed at upskilling and driving digital transformations, will be launched later this year.
During her tour of RIBF 2021, IPA President met with leading regional publishers and industry stakeholders – all united by their passion for books and reading. She visited bustling pavilions flocked by scores of book lovers from KSA and the rest of the Arab World. These vibrant scenes and the sheer volumes of book sales are not only indicative of a bright future for Saudi publishing but also reiterate the critical role of the book industry in global society.
On the sidelines of the Riyadh International Book Fair, Bodour Al Qasimi also met with Saudi publishers and the new board members of the Saudi Publishers Association, to discuss current challenges and opportunities to adapt to new industry dynamics and set the foundation for the growth of a resilient, future-proof sector.
The IPA President’s visit to the KSA follows a series of meetings with publishers’ associations in Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Georgia earlier this year.