October 17, 2020

Greetings everyone!

To our dear Secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones, House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, Pangasinan 4th district Congressman Christopher De Venecia, Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella, Ambassador of the Philippine Embassy in Berlin Maria Theresa Dizon-De Vega, Consul General Evelyn Austria-Garcia, Frankfurt Book Fair Vice President Claudia Kaiser,

To our local publishing partners, Komiket co-founder Paolo Herras, Adarna House Vice President Ani Almario, and ABC EDC Publishing House Directress and NBDB Governor Mary Ann Ordinario,

To our fellow workers in government, and dear stakeholders in the book publishing industry, warm welcome.

It is my great pleasure on behalf of the National Book Development Board to welcome everyone in today’s Frankfurter Buchmesse – All Together Now Culminating Event at the Philippine Stand.

NBDB has actively participated annually in this prestigious Frankfurter Buchmesse since 2015. The international publishing community had great exposure to Philippine-authored books that were displayed at our country stand in the past years.

Despite the global pandemic, the Frankfurter Buchmesse is still the world’s most important marketplace as it has offered a digital platform with numerous virtual events from print to digital content, literary rights trading and management, as well as cultural events.

Highlighting the digital content for the Philippine book publishing industry, data processed by NBDB from the raw data of the National Library of the Philippines shows that the share of e-books to the total number of books produced by Philippine publishers significantly increased from 3% in 2010 to 25% in 2015. NBDB also estimates that the share of e-books will be around 27% to 31% in 2019.

Another important fact is that, based on the Annual Survey of the Philippine Business and Industry of the Philippine Statistics Authority, the sales from e-commerce for the book publishing industry is 120 million pesos in 2016. Although it is still a small amount compared to the total revenue of 6.19 billion pesos for the whole industry in 2016, we are optimistic that sales from e-commerce will increase in proportion to the bricks and mortar sales.

As the leading government agency for the promotion of the book industry in the country, NBDB has executed several activities that continuously stimulate the community of readers, writers, and publishers.

Just last Thursday, the NBDB conducted a literary rights management seminar to equip our local stakeholders with knowledge on rights acquisition and buying. We hope that this will embolden the local publishers to be confident in acquiring books from abroad and also in promoting and selling their books in the international market.

And as a support to an increasingly global book trade, the NBDB offers translation subsidies to local publishers to translate existing published books in a Philippine language to any foreign language. This translation subsidy program aims for wider dissemination of Philippine culture, art, and literature, locally and globally. For the next years, we hope to award more translation grants to maximize exposure of our books and to increase the number of Philippine authorship and content translated, published, and distributed outside of our country.

Another significant program I would like to highlight is the Asian Classics Translation Program. It is a mutual translation of books between 46 Asian countries and China within the framework of the International Mutual Translation Program. Under this program, involved parties will provide support and assistance in the translation and publishing of books, copyright matters, provision of ISBN, import and export management, and book promotion.

These have been the biggest platforms so far to support the Philippine publishing sector to reach the global market. Translations facilitate not just the exchange of books but also of culture, further promoting understanding and greater appreciation among countries. And Frankfurter Buchmesse is a great platform in trading and translation of Philippine books.

In today’s culminating activity, we are also very pleased to launch several Philippine authored books from our dear partners from Komiket, Adarna House, and ABC EDC Publishing House.

We are very delighted with the participation of our guests, partners, publishers, authors, artists, and book lovers. We thank you for your time and support for this event and the book publishing industry.

Before I turn over the floor to our dear guests, I want to say once again, welcome to the Frankfurter Buchmesse – All Together Now Culminating Event at the Philippine Stand. I wish you a productive evening.

Thank you.