Heilongjiang Special

Book Expo: it's not just books and publishing

By Zhao Yunpeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-04-30 07:45
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Book Expo: it's not just books and publishing 

About 100,000 business people will attend the book expo, organizers said at 30-day countdown ceremony, on April 27. Zhao Yunpeng / For China Daily

One convenient way for Heilongjiang to increase its trade - domestically at least - is via its National Book Expo, China's largest publication trade show.

This year, the event - the 21st National Book Expo - will be held in the provincial capital of Harbin, May 27 to 30.

It was previously called the national book fair, until 2007, when it got the name change in Chongqing.

Over the past two decades, the expo has gone from being a mere book fair to a more comprehensive event with exhibits, information exchanges, networking and other cultural activities.

This year, the session's sponsors are the General Administration of Press and Publications and the Heilongjiang provincial government.

The organizers have said that the local government wants to do more than just be a trade facilitator. It wants to use this opportunity to showcase the province's recent publishing developments to help increase public interest in reading and to improve the "spiritual well being" of the local people.

The organizers said that about 100,000 business representatives from 31 provinces and regions - including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan - will take part. They represent publishers who have reserved nearly 4,000 booths for the event.

The organizing committee is asking for volunteers to help provide services, to augment its professional service team.

The committee have selected 12 hotels to provide accommodation for people attending the event.

The main venue is the Harbin International Exhibition, Convention and Sports center. Other supplemental sites will be located in the cities of Qiqihar, Mudanjiang, Jiamusi, Daqing and Jixi.

The organizers explain the use of so many locations by saying they want to make it a truly unique event, one with the widest influence and the highest level of development in its history.

They also hope it will give as many people as possible access to various publications from all over the country.

And it will not be limited to just books and publications: a number of other concurrent events will be held.

These include a publishing industry forum, where officials from the General Administration of Press and Publications, provincial government leaders, business leaders, and scholars can share their insights on industry developments.

The event is also a sort of gala for local people who love to read, with a number of interactive activities involving customers, authors, and publishers.

Other activities include a readers' conference and a show with photos from local people and publishers.

There will also be a ceremony where publishers nationwide donate books to rural Heilongjiang libraries.

(China Daily 04/30/2011 page6)