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The 11th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) Publishers Conference, being held in partnership with the International Publishers Association (IPA), kicked off today (Sunday) in Expo Centre Sharjah, ahead of the official opening of the 40th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) that runs from November 3 – 13.

The region’s frontrunning event for publishing professionals and industry-wide stakeholders has garnered the participation of more than 546 publishing professionals and agents and 35 speakers. With key discussions on book sales, potential agreements, translations, copyrights and distribution rights, the three-day conference features a rich agenda of keynote sessions and eight panel discussions that spotlights the key issues and challenges facing the publishing sector in the region and around the world.

A main highlight of the opening day’s proceedings was a keynote address by Bodour Al Qasimi, President, International Publishers Association (IPA).

The SIBF Publishers Conference opened with a welcome address by His Excellency Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA. A panel discussion titled ‘Coming Together in Crisis: How the international sustainable publishing and industry resilience (Inspire) initiative is supporting industry recovery in unprecedented times’ will set the conference in motion. A distinguished panel of publishing professionals from around the world will discuss the ‘Inspire Charter’ and how the industry can ensure that the entire publishing ecosystem moves forward in coordination during times of crisis.

The second discussion of the day, titled ‘Arab Publishing Landscape: Guidelines to the different Arabic world markets’, heard from Arab publishers about how publishing is evolving in Arabic-speaking countries and how international publishers can contribute to their growth.

The Guest of Honour at SIBF 2021, Spain, hosted a special session in the afternoon to shed light on the Spanish publishing industry. Open exclusively to participants at the conference is a key session that highlights the application process for the US$300,000 SIBF Translation Grant.

The inaugural day’s proceedings also marked the start of the hugely popular ‘Matchmaking’ sessions where publishers and industry professionals discussed buying and selling of rights and strike new deals, especially in the Arab market.

The programming agenda of the following two days of the conference will feature discussions on the independent publishing boom and explore opportunities in the educational publishing industry, amongst others. The 11th SIBF Publishers concludes on Tuesday, November 2.