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Sharjah Book Authority Explores Cooperation With Indian Publishers

Opportunities under discussion as authority participates in 25th edition of New Delhi Book Fair

The potential for forging lucrative deals with Indian publishing houses is proving to be a major topic of discussion during Sharjah Book Authority (SBA)’s participation at the New Delhi International Book Fair, which is currently underway in the India capital.

Running from January 6-12, the 25th edition of the fair is seeing SBA explore prospects for cooperation and joint action with Indian publishers to develop the book industry, facilitate Arabic and Indian cultural exchange and provide Indians with the latest Emirati and Arabic publications.

“With a population of more than 1.3 billion people, India remains a distinct destination for professionals in the publishing sector who are interested in investing in culture and knowledge and attracting the largest possible number of the country’s citizens to the book industry,” said HE Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA.

“Our presence at the New Delhi International Book Fair underlines the deeply-rooted ties binding India and the Arab world and exemplifies the strong history of UAE-India relations, which were established long before the creation of the Union in 1971. Our participation comes in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to explore avenues of cooperation and extend more bridges of joint action with publishers on a larger global scale,” he added.

The SBA pavilion at the fair is enjoying an impressive turnout by Indian intellectuals, publishers, academics and media personnel, as well as investors. Those visiting the stand have expressed interest in exploring opportunities with the recently opened Sharjah Publishing City, with Indian publishing houses keen to examine options for having a presence in the GCC’s cultural landscape so as to communicate easily with Indian communities in the Gulf region.

SBA participating stand received HE Dr. Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, during his visit to the book fair, where HE received a copy from His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi’s book (Inee Udeen).

On the sidelines of its participation at the fair, SBA has conducted a series of meetings with participating publishers, heads of cultural institutions and publishers associations from all over the world, as well as with a number of official personalities involved in cultural work.

Another highlight of Sharjah’s presence at the book fair is seen in the participation of the recently launched Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) – the world’s first free zone dedicated entirely to the publishing business. SPC is promoting its services and holding a series of meetings with several Indian publishers, most notably the National Book Trust of India, to understand their business aspirations in the Middle East, and discuss what can be offered to facilitate their expansion and growth in the region with SPC as a base.

SBA has distributed forms for participating in the SIBF awards and the Sharjah Exhibition for Children’s Book Illustrations, as well as application forms for the SIBF Translation Grant awarded annually to dozens of publishers and the Turjuman Award, the largest of its kind in the world.

This year’s edition of the New Delhi International Book Fair is witnessing the participation of 886 publishers from India and beyond who are displaying their publications across an exhibition area of more than 548,000 square feet. A large number of European publishers are taking part, with the fair having selected the European Union as its Guest of Honour.

Established in December 2014, SBA is dedicated to encouraging investment in the creative industries and offering a platform for knowledge and intellectual exchange between people from different cultures. The authority is tasked with highlighting the significant role of writers and their influence in promoting community cohesion. It also aims to attract relevant bodies and figures operating in the cultural sector in general and the areas of publishing, printing, translation, documentation and children’s books in particular.

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