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Agreement between the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Spanish Ministry for Industry, Tourism and Trade on the promotion of the Catalan publishing industry at the 2007 Frankfurt Book Fair

The agreement signed today between the Spanish Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Culture of the Generalitat (the government of Catalonia) sets aside six million euros with which to promote Catalan publishing companies at the Frankfurt Book Fair next year, at which Catalan culture is guest of honour.

During the same signing ceremony, the minister for Culture of the Catalan government, Ferran Mascarell, said, "The agreement shows recognition of the strategic importance of the Catalan publishing industry in Spain".

He went on to say that the purpose of the agreement was to encourage Catalan publishing companies in their participation at the Frankfurt Book Fair, to increase the number of translations into German and English of works published by Catalan companies and to devise a training programme aimed at internationalising the Catalan publishing system.

According to data provided by Ferran Mascarell, the Frankfurt Book Fair, the most important of its kind in the world of publishing, will be attended by 120 companies with their own stand as well as 15 others that will be represented, although they will not have their own stand.

Mr Montilla emphasised that the aim of the financial support of the Ministry of Industry was to enable companies that do not usually have the opportunity to do so to be present at the Fair, and to provide those companies that already have a presence there with greater resources.

He also said that the signing of the agreement represented a step forward in encouraging an internationalisation of the industry that was so important for the publishing industry in Spain as a whole and for Catalan cultural industries in particular, including the publishing industry.

For Mr Montilla the contribution of the Spanish government towards Catalonia's presence at the Frankfurt Book Fair shows the extent to which the undertaking to promote the languages and cultures of Spain is both real and effective while also being a way of strengthening Spanish pluralism.

The minister for Culture of the Catalan government pointed out that economic support for translations of works written in Catalan would be channelled through the Institut Ramon Llull, while that for works written in Spanish would be channelled through the Institut Català de les Indústries Culturals (Catalan Institute of Cultural Industries - ICIC).

Mr Mascarell made the observation that support for the translation of works in Catalan most in need of such support had already made an appreciable impact with 76 works being translated in 2005 and 120 translated so far in 2006.

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