Bangkok was named as the “World Book Capital 2013” at the conclusion of the selection committee meeting, which was held on 27 June 2011 at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters. The city of Bangkok was selected “on account of its willingness to bring together all the various stakeholders of the book chain and beyond, for its community focused programme and the high level of commitment through the proposed activities”.
The selection committee included representatives of the International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Booksellers Federation (IBF), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and UNESCO.
Says IPA Secretary General Jens Bammel: “IPA is impressed by the application file submitted by Bangkok. Our Thai member, the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT), has for many years been patiently supporting a candidacy and worked hard to bring different stakeholders together. The Bangkok Reading Group (www.bangkokreadforlife.com) brings together 500 stakeholders from the book chain and beyond (e.g.: Bangkok Stock Exchange). Bangkok had already applied to become a World Book Capital four years ago. This year it has stepped up to submit a clear, exciting, and ambitious programme for 2013. Congratulations Bangkok!”.
Jens added: “This application includes a number of interesting ideas and initiatives and relies on a high level of commitment. The premises of the (old) city hall will be renovated into a city library and museum. A new museum of Thai cartoons will be launched. IPA is also thrilled that Bangkok has offered to host the 2014 IPA Publishers Conference. We are very much looking forward to working with the various Thai stakeholders, in particular the local publishers and our Thai member PUBAT to contribute to the success of Bangkok, World Book Capital 2013.”
Bangkok, Thailand, is the thirteenth 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).