A trustworthy partnership between publishers of Bangladesh and India can help both the countries to reach a new height in publishing books, discussants at a conference said yesterday.
There are opportunities of trade in books and content between the two countries but some trade barriers are impeding them, Bangladeshi and Indian publishers said while speaking at a conference on the Challenges and Opportunities in the Book Publishing Sector.
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) organised the conference in association with Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and Global Intellectual Property Academy in the capital.
Speaking at the conference, Bangladeshi publishers pointed out that there was not a fair book trade between the two countries as some barriers were causing problems for publishers in Bangladesh.
“The possibilities of Indo-Bangla book trade are great but potentials have not been realised fully,” Mofidul Hoque, director, Shahitya Prakash, Bangladesh said.
He said while books in English published from India found easy access to the market in Bangladesh, unfortunately the same is not true for English titles published from Bangladesh. Mofidul also pointed out that in the procurement policy and practice of the library network of India, there was no place for books from Bangladesh.
“A joint study on Bangladesh book access to Indian market and vice-versa is necessary to work towards the promotion of fair trade concept,” he added.
Mohiuddin Ahmed, managing director of The University Press Limited, termed the Bangladesh-India book trade unequal. “Bangladesh remains a peripheral market to India,” he said, adding that Bangladesh was still lagging behind in producing quality books for the region and the work.
Pointing out figures, Mohiuddin said except for the financial year 2013-2014, import of books and periodicals was increasing over time and export was negligible and has been decreasing.
“Bangladesh must adopt and implement the National Book Policy that will enable national book capacity.”
Subrata Das, editorial director of Setu Prakashani of India said there was lack of trust between the publishers of the two countries.
Inaugurating the two-day long conference, Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor said the imbalance between the ratio of book import and export between the two countries was quite apparent.
“Bangladesh imports huge number of fiction and non-fiction books from India which is a contrast to Indian imports from Bangladesh. This type of conference has the potentials to negotiate on business ventures between the countries and bring the people involved in the book publishing sector together,” he said.
Among others, Rohit Kumar, co-chair of FICCI publishing committee, FBCCI President Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed spoke at the conference.