Home » Malaysian Exhibitors Make An Impact At Frankfurt Book Fair

Malaysian Exhibitors Make An Impact At Frankfurt Book Fair

News From : DagangHalal.com (19 Oct 2009)

FRANKFURT, Oct 19 (Bernama) — With a variety of services ranging from printing to digitalized book publications, Malaysia’s book industry made a strong pitch at the five-day Frankfurt International Book Fair which ended Monday.

Despite initial misgivings about the impact of the economic downturn on their business, the dozen Malaysian exhibitors said that they were returning home satisfied that “things were not that bad, after all”.

This was the general consensus of the exhibitors in their conversations with this writer at the exhibition ground.

Farah Azrin Zumdi, project manager of Selangor-based Seleksi Angsana Sdn Bhd, was promoting the book called “Malaysian Mosques”.

Her father Mahmud Zuhdi Zainudin has been passionately writing about mosques in Malaysia.

“People have shown interest in the book and some buyers said they would look into purchasing the international edition of the book. We have also been talking to buyers from Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Japan and other countries. Surprisingly, a Buddhist country like Japan has shown keen interest in the book on mosques,” Farah said.

Saba Islamic Media of Kuala Lumpur was pitching for its books on Islam, including the Quran. The company’s managing director Sabariah Abdullah was “very satisfied” with the overall response at the fair.

“I have had enquiries and even orders from some countries where Islam is not widely known. I am keen to sell the books to mainstream book importers and not just to those specializing in religious books,” she said.

The mix of literary works from Malaysia on display at the show was quite versatile, ranging from children’s books and cookbooks through books about business management and religion to Chinese astrology and Sheng fui.

Kuala Lumpur based Joey Yap, who has authored several books on Chinese astrology and holds discourses on Feng Sui in several countries, said that he was “overwhelmed” by the response to his works from visitors from a number of countries.

“This is a good place to position yourself in the international book markets,” Yap maintained.

Linda Tun Lingard, director of a literary agency called Yusof Gajah Lingard, based in Kuala Lumpur, made a strong pitch with her so-called “Elephabet”, elephant shaped alphabets that appeal, particularly, to children.

“Germans, in particular, showed great interest in our Elephabets and were keen to have them translated into German,” Lingard said.

She added that before she left for Frankfurt, she was quite doubtful about getting any business response because of the recession. “But I am pleasantly surprised at the positive response I have received here in Frankfurt,” she exclaimed.

Thus, the fears of a negative impact of the recession on the business and the show turning out to be a wash out for many, proved to be unfounded.

Nevertheless, some Malaysians were privately saying that the Malaysian government should offer encouragement in the form of incentives and subsidies to Malaysian exporters, particularly the small ones with limited resources, to participate in trade fairs such as the Frankfurt International Book Fair where the costs of participation have been steadily rising.

“The government should support us by taking over the costs of participation. Malaysian products could thus get greater visibility at international venues such as Frankfurt which attracts a lot of buyers from around the world,” one exhibitor told Bernama, preferring to remain anonymous.

By Manik Mehta

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