Frankfurt, Germany: Leading several discussions on strengthening the global publishing business against the Covid-19 pandemic and other challenges, International Publishers Association President Bodour Al Qasimi has undertaken key engagements at Frankfurt Book Fair, held in hybrid format over October 20-24.

She attended the opening ceremony and spoke at a digital panel The Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Publishing Industry, co-organised by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Frankfurter Buchmesse.

Together with leading industry experts, including WIPO chief economist Carsten Fink, Al Qasimi highlighted that an effective way to mitigate against the uneven post-pandemic recovery projected for global publishing hubs and smaller frontier markets was in comprehensive collection and usage of data relating to the size, impact, and contributions of all national publishing ecosystem players worldwide.

These observations coincided with launch of the ‘WIPO Publishing Industry Report’, on which WIPO and IPA have partnered since 2016. Al Qasimi noted that the data and statistics would support the IPA’s policy advocacy and serve as a key resource for publishers to keep up to date with global markets.   

Al Qasimi led the IPA Sustainability Summit with a strong message on the invaluable role global publishing can play in tackling the two most pressing challenges of our time – sustainability and climate change, underscoring that there needs to be an attitudinal shift from viewing the industry’s impact as indirect and informational to include more active contributions.

Noting that IPA was in a unique position to ensure the voice of publishing is included in these discussions and the broader global development dialogue, the IPA president firmly asserted that industry players needed to come together to define more precisely what sustainable publishing’ means to them, and as stakeholders demand more accountability from publishing on environmental, social, and governance commitments.

The IPA President also attended the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) Rendezvous and discussions on the European publishing market. The session ended with new signatories pledging commitment to the IPA’s InSPIRe Charter, which has already won more than 50 endorsements, representing trade associations, book fairs, and other stakeholders alongside 86 association members. All have pledged to unite with IPA efforts to shape a vibrant, sustainable, and post-pandemic future for global publishing.

As the IPA celebrates its 125th year, Al Qasimi attended an anniversary reception and dinner on the side-lines of the Frankfurt gathering, she thanked the IPA national associations, partners, supporters, and dedicated industry professionals who have worked with the organisation for so long to develop the resilience and longstanding sustainability of global publishing.  

In the lead-up to the book fair, Bodour Al Qasimi and the CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse Juergen Boos gave insightful commentary on the new IPA InSPIRe Report, which was revealed during the book fair with crucial findings on ways global publishing professionals and stakeholders envision the post-pandemic future of the sector.


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