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NEWSInternational PublishingInterview with Upem Chairman Abdelkader Retnani

Interview with Upem Chairman Abdelkader Retnani

2018-09-14 16:50:14
by ipubl

Q:Please introduce the current situation of the book market in Morocco.Could you please share more details?

A:The latest data about production of books in Morocco give us the number of 3000 titles published in 2017. Which is a real increase regarding the 850 titles in 1987, date of the first Book Fair in Casablanca (SIEL). We can count about 30 Moroccan editors who published more than 10 titles in one year. See attached the sources of this information (studies of the International Bureau of French Publishing - BIEF – and the annual report of Al Saoud Foundation)   

We noticed that this increase is due to some key elements:

- Professionalization of the publishing activity (creation of UPEM association with very clear membership conditions). UPEM association represents more than 80% of national editorial production. Our goal is to promote publishing and fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

- Dynamism of authors who have ideas to communicate in two languages (Arabic, and French). We also make some effort in order to promote the third language of the country, the Amazighe. Moroccan multiculturalism gives us the opportunity to have a lot of points of view in many subjects.

- International recognition of Moroccan literature in French and in Arabic.  

Q:How do you think about your BIBF trip? Is there any new cooperation which had been developed during the Fair?

A:This BIBF was really important and a great opportunity to have another vision of our cooperation with China.

First of all, it was a real pleasure to meet a lot of new contacts interested by our presence as a guest country. New ways of cooperation between China and Morocco will be defined very soon. We also will invite a Chinese delegation for the next Fair Book in Casablanca (SIEL) in February 2019.

Q:Based on your rich experience of international publishing, how do you look at the book market in China?

A: It’s a very big market and very dynamic one. Of course, the population is also large to meet this sustained development. I also noticed that China choose to buy and sent book rights from/to another countries/cultures. Which is a good way to extend the popularity all around the world.


Q:Have you ever read the books from China? Which work or writer is your favorite?

A: last book that I read from China is the book of Huawai’s chairman named HUAWEI, CHINESE SUCCESS STORY from Yang Shaolong. For me, it’s a very interesting book and empowering for all people, in many cultures.

Q:How about the cooperation between China and Morocco in publishing field these years? Please share some details.

A:We are convinced that many Chinese publications could be very interesting for some Arabic countries. Morocco can be a great way to translate them and distribute in North Africa and also in the Middle East.


Q:How would Moroccan publishers promote your literature and culture? 

A:As a publishing company, we participate in many international exhibitions in order to promote Moroccan literature and culture. It could be in Europe (Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt…), in America (Montreal, Quebec, Buenos Aires…) or in Asia (Beijing, Sharjah…).    

It’s a long-term work which need to be in contact with many publishers all around the world and which also requires a good relationship with authors.


Q:In recent years, Chinese publishers devote to share excellent Chinese books and writers with the world, do you have some suggestions for them? 

A:They have done a really great job! And another way to do this is to encourage translation in many languages.    

Q:It will also be welcomed if you have other stories or insight relating to international book market.

A:I was really impressed by the number of visitors who came to me, during the Fair, speaking Arabic. For me, it’s a sign of an opening mind and a clear desire to make bridges between different cultures.

2018-09-14 16:50:14
by ipubl


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