The IPA leadership takes part in the opening of Bangkok World Book Capital 2013 on 21-23 April 2013, congratulating Bangkok, and inviting the local authorities to seize the historic opportunity given by the World Book Capital title to promote reading and take other-related measures as essential components of an ambitious national book policy supporting the development of a knowledge-based economy.

As initiator of the UNESCO World Book Capital program 10 years ago, IPA attaches great importance to this international endeavour aimed at promoting books, reading and literacy. Trasvin Jittidecharak, IPA Board member, and José-Manuel Gomez, Chair of the IPA Literacy and Book Policy Committee, represent the IPA leadership in Bangkok for the opening ceremony. In his presentation during the 21 April opening round table entitled The Future of Reading, Reading for the Future, José Manuel Gomez said: “There are many ways to improve literacy rates, especially in these days of technological evolution. I encourage the Thai community to continue fostering successful projects like the ones Bangkok prepared to become the World Book Capital 2013”.

In a written statement, IPA President YoungSuk “Y.S.” Chi stated: “It is wonderful that Thailand has recognized reading is fundamental to any knowledge society. When citizens read, we all prosper. When children (and adults) read for pleasure, they learn— almost involuntarily—new vocabulary, grammatical constructions, spelling and writing styles. All of these skills are instrumental to being informed citizens and valuable contributors to society”.

IPA Board Member, Thai publisher, Trasvin Jittidecharak declares in her opening speech during the opening ceremony: “In this historic context, IPA and its Thai member PUBAT respectfully urge the Thai authorities to seize this opportunity to set up a national body in charge of supporting and promoting reading nationally; apply a zero-rate VAT on books, not only in paper, but also in digital format; declare books to be a tax deductible item; implement a transparent textbook procurement policy (according to World Bank standards); and decriminalise defamation to support greater freedom of expression”. She added: “If, through books, we can kindle a passion for reading in children, we will lay the foundation for prosperity and happiness in the next generation”.

More about World Book Capital

Bangkok, Thailand, is the 13th city to be designated World Book Capital, after Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogotá (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), and Yerevan (2012). At the initiative of IPA, every year, IPA, IBF, IFLA and UNESCO designate a city as World Book Capital for the 12 months between two celebrations of World Book and Copyright Day (23 April). This initiative is a collaborative effort between representatives of principal stakeholders in the book sector and the cities which have committed themselves to promote books and reading.

Port Harcourt, Nigeria, will be World Book Capital 2014. The 2015 World Book Capital will be designated at a jury meeting held at UNESCO this summer.

Bangkok was nominated World Book Capital 2013 by an international jury on account of “its willingness to bring together all the various stakeholders of the book chain and beyond, for its community-focused program, and the high level of its commitment through the proposed activities”.

More about the 30th IPA Congress

It will be held in the city of Angels on 25–27 March 2014. For the first time, the IPA Congress will be held in South-East Asia and a World Book Capital. Hundreds of publishers from all over the world are expected to participate, together with some authors, copyright specialists, librarians and officials from ca. 50 countries and international organisations.

Preparations for the Congress are progressing rapidly. For instance, IPA Board Member and CEO of HarperCollins Brian Murray will chair a session entitled Digital Distribution Developments. The speakers that Brian has succeeded in confirming for this session include: Tom Turvey, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Google; Charlie Redmayne, International Publishers Association.

CEO, Pottermore; Dane Neller, CEO, On Demand Books; Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo Inc. This high-level session should be of intense interest for Congress delegates.

Bangkok World Book Capital 2013

YoungSuk “Y.S.” Chi’s written statement

Trasvin Jittidecharak’s speech