Beijing book fair trade continues to grow

Updated: 2014-09-03 17:19

By Liu Zhihua(chinadaily.com.cn)

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During much of last week, each day at around 5 pm, many people swarmed out of the China International Exhibition Center in Shunyi, Beijing.

They were employees of publishers and copyright agencies and booklovers who had been attending the 21st Beijing International Book Fair. Held from Aug 27 through 31, the fair attracted 2,168 exhibitors from 78 countries and regions, with nearly 1,230 from overseas.

It had four exhibition areas — domestic publishing, overseas publishing, digital publishing and themed pavilions — taking up four exhibition halls and covering 53,600 square meters.

Turkey was the country of honor, and Hebei the province of honor. Awards ceremonies, forums and symposiums were held to promote exchanges and cooperation in the international publishing industry, and famous authors and critics from both home and abroad spoke and answered questions from audiences.

The book fair has become the world’s third-largest, serving to help domestic and overseas publishers export and import books and copyrights.

"BIBF is an important international publishing event for publishers and copyright agencies to meet and make deals," says Assem Shalaby, president of the Arab Publishers’ Association, which is an official organization under the Arab League for publishers in Arabian countries.

In 2013, the association came to the book fair for the first time, with 14 Arabian publishing houses, and Saudi Arabia was that year’s country of honor. Currently, 90 percent of Chinese books and copyrights exported to Arabian countries have had help from the association and the book fair, said Ahmed Alsaeed, founder of copyright and culture exchange company Wisdom Palace, and the only representative of the association in China.

The five-day book fair this year saw an 18.5 percent year-on-year growth in copyrights trade, its official website says. Moreover, among more than 4,000 copyright deals made, over 2,500 were exports, an increase of 24 percent on last year.

The Commercial Press, one of the most prestigious publishing houses in China, has taken part in the BIBF many times. This year, it reached agreements with Springer Group, the third-ranked academic publishing house in Germany, to export four book titles written by Chinese economists Li Yining and Zhao Shukai.

The Commercial Press also imported the copyright of the Ricci Dictionary (Chinese-French), the most comprehensive bilingual dictionary of Chinese in the Western world, often used by scholars in France.