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Frankfurt Book fair chief lauds progress of Chinese publishers
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09:42, October 13, 2007

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Chinese publishers have become more active and more professional, the Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair Juergen Boos said in Frankfurt on Friday.

"At the Frankfurt Fair we can see more and more Chinese publishers. Their exhibition areas are expanding and more books are exhibited," said Boos in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Boos, who has years of experience in the Frankfurt book fair, said Chinese publishers used to wait for guests several years ago, but now they became "aggressive" and "very professional" in negotiations on copyrights, imports and exports.

"The copyright-trade volumes of the Chinese publishing industry are increasing year on year, which is a strong sign," he said.

In the Frankfurt Book Fair last year, Chinese publishers reached over 1,300 agreements and MOUs on copyrights trade.

However, Boos said that compared to China's increasing economic and political influence in the international arena, there is still a long way to go for Chinese publishers to promote Chinese culture in the Western world.

"Because Western people are far from familiar with Chinese culture and history, it will take many years to make a change. Therefore, it is of vital significance for the Chinese publishing industry to march into the international market," he said.

In order to make more Chinese publications enter the Western world, Chinese publishers should strike more comprehensive and steady contacts and network with their Western counterparts, Boos said.

"An effective network is vital for Chinese publishers to brave the fierce competition in Europe and America," he said.

Boos proposed that more Chinese works be translated, citing that the German government has provided huge funds to translate German books into foreign languages.

He also proposed that Chinese publishers make every effort to promote the popularity of Chinese writers, such as inviting Chinese writers to read their works in the Frankfurt fair, a practice European publishers usually follow.

"I went to China 15 years ago, I attended the Beijing International Book Fair six times and I went every year for the past three years," said Boos, who headed the organizing body of Frankfurt Book Fair three years ago.

He revealed that the Frankfurt Book Fair will set up an office in Beijing to strengthen contacts with Chinese publishers.

China has also been selected as a "guest of honor" for the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2009, which Boos said he was "looking forward to very much."

"In the economic aspect, we hope Chinese publishers will then do more business with international partners; in the cultural aspect, I hope a new image of China will be shown here, and politically, we hope Frankfurt can help the Western world learn more about changes of China, and lose their prejudice against China," he said.


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