Sheikha Bodour during the meeting with the Turkish Publishers Association (TPA) in Istanbul, Turkey.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi has a lot of drive and enthusiasm. Whether it is launching landmark initiatives, innovative projects, mapping new ways of encouraging investment in Sharjah, or enhancing the beauty and landscape of the emirate, she is always in the forefront, moulding the shape of things to come.
Like her father, His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, she is also a wellspring of compassion and concern for the distressed, who are facing an uphill struggle. That includes publishers in Turkey who have, like their counterparts in other parts of the world, been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
It is therefore very natural that as President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), she should throw her weight behind the Turkish Publishers Association’s (TPA) decision to host the International Istanbul Book Fair in November 2021. She feels that the comeback of the live in-person event shows the remarkable trait of the world of publishing to adapt to the new normal. It also helps the publishing industry get back on its feet and be recharged with its full potential.
Sheikha Bodour held a meeting with the TPA in Istanbul, Turkey. The meeting was held in the presence of the TPA President, Kenan Kocaturk, members of the association and prominent local publishers.
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.
Sheikha Bodour stressed that IPA was focusing on establishing effective communication with publishers’ associations worldwide. It sought to thrash out the challenges facing businesses against the menacing backdrop of the coronavirus badgering the publishing industry , and help them design agile business models to ensure their growth and sustainability.
The IPA President stressed that COVID-19 has offered the industry an opportunity to reevaluate 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.
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 a curated list of courses aimed at meeting the urgent necessity for capacity building and upskilling for publishers and introduce them to the tools needed to redesign and revitalise their business models.
Reiterating that IPA would continue to work tirelessly to strengthen the global publishing sector, Sheikha Bodour emphasised the importance of solidarity amongst publishers, and amongst all stakeholders across the global publishing industry ecosystem.
Sheikha Bodour took the opportunity to congratulate the TPA on its tireless work in defending the freedom to publish principle, 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 this year.
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