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In her speech delivered during the Fifth Virtual Arab Publishers Conference, which was concluded on December 16, Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (2021-2022), affirmed that though the COVID 19 crisis has posed unprecedented challenges for humanity, it has provided a valuable opportunity to review business models and quickly adapt to the current global trends in the publishing sector.

“There is no doubt that the COVID 19 crisis and its repercussions dominate everyone’s thinking. Each of us may be wondering about the future of the sector and of the companies and their employees. The challenges posed by this crisis are huge and unprecedented. However, it has also presented a golden opportunity to review business models and quickly adjust to the current global trends in the publishing sector”, she said.

“Publishing is a strong industry. It underwent many calamities and managed to surpass them all due to its importance and the flexibility of those in charge of it. Since we are on the threshold of a new juncture in the publishing industry history, I would like to call upon all Arab publishers to carefully study and understand the future trends in the publishing industry and to get prepared for them by changing business models and prioritizing protection against digital piracy”, she added.

“We have started at the International Publishers Association to develop a post COVID 19 plan of action that aims to probe deep into and understand the challenges faced by the book industry”,  Al Qasimi  said. “The results of this report are to be published soon, which will help us develop an integrated strategic plan to overcome the challenges of the crisis”, she added.

Conference participants have emphasized the importance of Arab publishing and the significant role publishers play at this juncture. They noted that the conference constituted a golden opportunity for launching serious discussions and constructive dialogues, which allow the attendees to exchange ideas for the benefit of Arab publishers and Arab readers. They have also stressed the important position Arab publishers occupy worldwide, expressing their optimism that, despite the challenges, the publishing industry in all Arab countries would develop and grow in the near future.