New Lu­cra­tive Chap­ter

As de­mand for Chi­nese lit­er­a­ture grows, co­op­er­a­tion with for­eign pub­lish­ers flour­ishes

ChinAfrica - - THE ECONOMETER - By Liu Ting

over the last few years, Ab­delka­der Ret­nani, Di­rec­tor of La Croisée des Chemins Pub­lish­ing House in Morocco, has be­come a reg­u­lar par­tic­i­pant of the Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Book Fair, an an­nual event that takes place in late Au­gust in China’s cap­i­tal.

But this year’s event was spe­cial for him, be­cause Morocco was cel­e­brated as the guest of honor - the first African coun­try to have this priv­i­lege since the creation of the fair in 1986. In ad­di­tion, the book La Chine et nous: Répon­dre au sec­ond dé­passe­ment (China and Us: Re­spond­ing to the Sec­ond Over­tak­ing), al­ready pub­lished and dis­trib­uted in French and Ara­bic by its pub­lish­ing house, was pur­chased for trans­la­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion in China.

“Books about China are very pop­u­lar in Morocco, be­cause Mo­roc­cans are very in­ter­ested in China,” Ret­nani told Chi­nafrica.

Ret­nani first took part in the Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Book Fair in 2014. Since then, his pub­lish­ing house has con­ducted many ex­changes with its Chi­nese coun­ter­parts. Flames and Words, a poetry book trans­lated from Chi­nese into Ara­bic by the For­eign Lan­guage Teach­ing and Re­search Press, was orig­i­nally dis­trib­uted by his pub­lish­ing house in Morocco, where it has met with great suc­cess.

The 2,000 copies of the first print of La Chine et nous: Répon­dre au sec­ond dé­passe­ment sold out quickly in Morocco, and the sec­ond print is now avail­able.

“I wanted to con­clude agree­ments [with Chi­nese part­ners] so that we can bet­ter pro­mote China’s rich his­tory and so that our Moroc­can read­ers can bet­ter ap­pre­ci­ate it,” he said.

Ris­ing ex­ports

Ret­nani is not alone in try­ing to co­op­er­ate with Chi­nese pub­lish­ing houses. At this year’s Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Book Fair, which took place on Au­gust 22-26, a to­tal of 5,678 copy­right agree­ments were con­cluded be­tween China and for­eign coun­tries, an an­nual in­crease of 7.9 per­cent. Of these, 3,610 were ex­port and part­ner­ship

A Chi­nese vis­i­tor reads a book at the Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Book Fair on Au­gust 22

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