IPA boss Bodour Al Qasimi welcomes move to hold onsite Istanbul book fair

Bodour Al Qasimi
IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi meeting publishers in Turkey Image Credit: Supplied

Istanbul: Bodour Al Qasimi, President of International Publishers Association (IPA), has welcomed the decision of Turkish Publishers Association (TPA) to organise the International Istanbul Book Fair in November.

A meeting was held in the presence of the TPA President Kenan Kocaturk, members of the association and prominent local publishers to mark the announcement. The IPA President’s visit to Turkey follows a series of meetings with publishers’ associations in Egypt, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Georgia earlier this year.

Seeing opportunity in challenges

Al Qasimi said IPA is focusing on establishing effective communication with publishers’ associations worldwide, in order to discuss the challenges facing businesses in the COVID-19 pandemic-affected economic climate, and help them design business models to ensure their growth. The IPA President added that the pandemic has offered the industry an opportunity to re-evaluate current business models and replace them with more agile ones, with a strong focus on pushing the agenda of digital publishing. Publishers who had been perceptive enough to expand their business models to include digital offerings have been able to rebound quickly, she said.

New academy

The IPA has been working closely with its members to assess any gaps in the knowledge needed to transform their businesses to adapt to both the current circumstances and the post-pandemic era. Al Qasimi added that the upcoming IPA Academy, to be launched later this year, would seek to provide publishers around the world with courses aimed at meeting the necessity for capacity building and upskilling for publishers.

Al Qasimi also took the opportunity to congratulate TPAon its work in defending the freedom of publishing, one of the IPA’s two primary objectives, and the protection of copyright. The TPA shares its findings on freedom to publish both in Turkey and worldwide in an annual report, and its efforts recently culminated in the organising of the 2020 Freedom of Thought and Expression Awards, which were held as an online ceremony in January.