India Guest of Honor at Paris book fair for the second time

Livre Paris: 20-23 March 2020

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Paris Book Fair 2020
Paris Book Fair 2020

The Indian book industry will be the Guest of Honor at this year’s Paris book fair. The 40th edition of Livre Paris will be held on four days from 20-23 March 2020. It is open to the general public in the afternoons, while the mornings are reserved for professionals. With an average of 1,200 exhibitors and 160,000 visitors, it is the largest French language book fair for book professionals from Europe, Africa and Canada. India had already been the Guest of Honor at this fair in 2007.

The invitation agreement had been signed in the presence of a dozen French publishers at last year’s Jaipur Literature Festival between the French Ambassador in India, Alexandre Ziegler and the National Book Trust. At the occasion, the French Ambassador pointed out that the Indian book industry’s presence in Paris “will be an excellent opportunity to increase the number of translations and releases of Indian books by French publishers and to construct a dynamic network between the French and Indian publishing industries.” The French book industry will in turn be the focal point at the New Delhi International Book Fair in 2022.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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