Learning about SBA’s most important annual cultural events like SIBF and the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), the Consul General of Italy discussed how to use these prominent platforms to showcase more publishers and cultural foundations from Italy.
Al Ameri also highlighted the role of the newly-opened Sharjah Publishing City (SPC), the first-of-its-kind publishing free zone in the world offering diverse investment options and premium services to publishing professionals and businesses worldwide.
His Excellency Ahmed Al Ameri said: “We are delighted to receive the Italian officials as such exchanges are paramount to promoting greater cultural cooperation and expanding partnerships with government and private institutions around the world. This reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, which encourages us to open up to international experiences and further develop Sharjah’s cultural sphere, as well as contributes to enhancing cross-cultural communication between different cultures.”
Al Ameri stressed that through promoting potential investment opportunities and services offered by the SPC among Italian publishers, who occupy a major share of the European books trade, SBA is aiming to spread the word across the European book market to establish their businesses at SPC.
Valentina Setta commended SBA’s efforts in developing the UAE’s publishing landscape through their strong support to publishers, authors, translators and illustrators. She also commended SBA’s regular visibility at Italian book fairs and cultural events, such as the Bologna Children's Book Fair and Turin International Book Fair, in particular. She stressed that these participations and exchanges between Italy and the UAE, initiated by the SBA, have offered tremendous impetus to cross-cultural communication between Arab and European cultures.
Consul General of Italy noted that the growing regional and international prominence of Sharjah’s book fair, and its success in attracting important publishing houses, literary personalities and a massive visitor turnout are reasons for Italy’s growing interest in using it as a platform for showcasing its private as well as public entities dedicated to books and culture. She emphasised that SIBF will not only offer them the opportunity to reach out to the Italian community residing in the UAE and the region, but also help promote the rich Italian culture to a new and diverse audience.