IPA members, book sector colleagues,

It is an honour for me to speak to you for the first time as the President of the International Publishers Association. I take on this role with every respect for our history of over 125 years and the remarkable figures from the world of publishing who brough the association to where we are today.

I must also thank our immediate past president, Bodour Al Qasimi, for her stewardship of the association during the last two difficult years, for helping us and the broader book sector to come closer together to recognize where our shared challenges lie.

My thanks to Bodour are also personal, thank you, Bodour, for your trust and for your support during my two years as Vice President. You have set the bar high and I will endeavour to build on your remarkable work.

To help me do that, I am so happy that I will have Gvantsa Jobava, our new Vice President, by my side. Gvantsa, your expertise and energy will be invaluable as we look to the future of our sector.

We are also lucky to have our extraordinary secretariat team, led by our secretary general, José Borghino. I’m sure you have all been impressed by the dedication, creativity and energy of James Taylor, Olivier and Vera Castanheira.

During my presidency I will uphold our two pillars – copyright and freedom to publish. These two issues unite our membership and are vital to a thriving publishing sector. They are both constantly under threat and we must remain always vigilant.

I will also dedicate my presidency to tackling the lack of data available about many publishing markets around the world. We need to convince policy makers of the great value our global sector has and we need the data to back us up.

I will continue to support the IPA academy and the opportunity it gives our members to develop their existing skills and add new ones. We will also continue to work on accessibility, working with WIPO and others. 

The future of our sector but also our societies, depends on us engaging actively and urgently on issues like sustainability, diversity and inclusion. These will be important areas of IPA work during the next two years.

The discussions at the 33rd International Publishers Congress frequently underlined the opportunities available to our sector and the IPA is uniquely positioned to drive international discussions around publishing and convene the broader book value chain to make some of those opportunities a reality.

Thank you all for your support and for the confidence that you have shown in Gvantsa and me. Our success will depend on us all continuing to work together.

I wish you all a very happy 2023, I’m looking forward to working with you.

Thank you