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Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), has met members of the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) as part of a series of meetings with pandemic-hit publishing markets, where she heard from the youngest Emirati publisher, AlDhabi AlMheiri, owner of Rainbow Chimney, about her aspirations for the future of local publishing.

Bodour Al Qasimi praised the EPA’s successful journey over the past few years in growing its member network from 5 to 200 publishers, saying this was an indicator of the Emirati publishing industry’s willingness to seize new opportunities, be methodical, collaborate, learn and grow.

She reinforced the IPA’s commitment to boosting the resilience of the sector and facilitating publishers’ access to new markets and opportunities. She highlighted that the profound disruptions in the past year prompted a new appraisal of the sector’s pre-Covid business model.

The IPA’s efforts are directed towards helping members build a new future for the sector.  Among the latest initiatives and projects designed in response to the new and emerging needs of publishers worldwide are the International Sustainable Publishing and Industry Resilience (Inspire) Charter, and the soon-to-be-launched IPA Academy.

Through a series of training courses in several languages, the IPA Academy will be a global resource designed to close the skills gap in secondary markets by enhancing the digital and technical capacities of publishers.

To promote the long-term development of the sector, Al Qasimi also highlighted the importance of dialogue, knowledge-sharing and cooperation between all active stakeholders in the publishing ecosystem including publishers, printing houses, libraries, authors, distributors and designers. “Such a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary approach will boost industry-wide solidarity and strengthen its capacity to face unprecedented challenges,” she said, calling on the EPA to participate in IPA’s 33rd International Publishers Congress to be held in November 2022 in Jakarta, Indonesia.