Taiwan will be expanding its presence at the BookFest @ Malaysia, one of the largest books fairs in Southeast Asia, with the objective of taking a bigger share of the Chinese-language book market in that region, organizers said on July 30.
At the Taiwan Pavilion, more than 300 publishers will display over 20,000 publications, ranging from children's illustrations, literature and business to health and travel books, said Linking Publishing Co., which is organizing the display in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture.
'It will be Taiwan's largest display at the fair,' twice the size of its previous exhibitions at the event, according to Alice Wang, deputy director of the Ministry's Department of Humanities and Publications. She added that the Ministry is targeting Malaysia this year as one of the key markets for the expansion of Taiwan's publishing business.
There are an estimated 7 million ethnic Chinese in Malaysia, which offers big potential for Taiwanese publishers, said Linden Lin, head of Linking Publishing. He also revealed that Malaysia is Linking's second biggest overseas market, after Hong Kong.
The solid Chinese-language education in Malaysia and readers' acceptance of traditional Chinese characters also make it a desirable market for Taiwan's publishers, Lin added.
Meanwhile, as part of the promotions at this year's book fair, a Taiwanese literature festival will be held for the first time at the Taiwan pavilion, Wang said.
At the festival, nineTaiwanese writers, including popular novelist Yu Wo (御我), indigenous writer Syaman Rapongan (夏曼藍波安) and poet Lo Chih-cheng (羅智成), will interact with readers.
'Through the eight writers, we hope to show the different facets of Taiwanese literature,' Lin stated.
The annual BookFest @ Malaysia, now in its eighth year, will be held from Aug. 3 to 11 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Publishers from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Great Britain, United States, Canada and Singapore are scheduled to participate.
Public attendance last year was estimated at 680,000 people.
At the festival, nine Taiwanese writers, including popular novelist Yu Wo (#5), indigenous writer Syaman Rapongan (#8) and poet Lo Chih-cheng (#1), will interact with readers.