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First joint effort between IE Singapore and MDA to promote Singapore printing & publishing industry

Dated: 19 October 2005

Singapore publishers and printers will be showcasing their new titles and capabilities at the Frankfurt Book Fair, a major trade show for the publication and printing industry held from 19 to 23 October. 

At the Fair, which is expected to draw more than 270,000 visitors and featuring more than 7,000 exhibitors from 100 countries, the Singapore contingent of 16 companies will set up a Singapore Pavilion led by International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA).

Singapore publishers are planning to launch several new book titles with Asian and universal themes at this year’s Fair. These include a wide range of genres: fiction;non-fiction books;autobiographies;poetry;inspirational and wellness titles;books for children with focus on Asian values;research reports and translation services;illustrated books on comics on Asian culture;to educational and business guides;lifestyle and architectural books;books on the economic and socio-political situation in Asia –all written from an Asian perspective and with universal appeal.

A series of illustrated comic books on The Art of War by Sunzi, Lao Zi’s wisdom, Indian and Chinese cultures will be part of Asiapac Book’s offering to attract literary publishing agents and further extend its reach in the US and markets beyond Asia.

World Scientific Publishing, a company known for its scientific, technical and medical publications, is hoping to break new grounds with its launch of books targeted at the masses. It will be showcasing books on Singaporean personalities such as Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s Keeping My Mandarin Alive, and The Little Red Dot which comprises a collage of writings from Singapore’s past and present diplomats.

The Eastern art of Shaolin kungfu will now be accessible to young Western readers with the launch of SilkRoad Network’s latest book - Shaolin: Legends of Chinese Zen &Kungfu.

The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) will also be offering print and digital versions of current titles like A Time Bomb for Global Trade: A Maritime-related Terrorism in an Age of WMD and Islamic Perspectives on the New Millennium and other titles. The company also sells rights to ZED Books, Rowman &Littlefield and Washington University Press.

Commenting on Singapore’s publishing industry, Mr Seto Lok Yin, the MDA’s Director of Industry Development said, “The Fair is an excellent opportunity for our local publishers to take stock of where we are now, where we want to go and how to get there vis-à-vis what their counterparts worldwide are doing. We hope the networking at the Singapore Pavilion will strengthen our position as a publishing hub. More importantly, over the next few days, we hope to see new business collaborations, as more local companies move into previously untapped export markets such as using the web or online services to promote literary works.”

At the Fair, IE Singapore and the MDA aim to position Singapore as a one-stop centre strategically located within Asia with a full range of publishing and printing services to meet the needs of leading publishers, literary agents, and international distributors and printers.

With exports of printed matter amounting to US$700 million in 2004, Singapore is today a major printing centre serving the global market. Our five key export markets for printed matter are the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Malaysia and India. Through constant interaction and engagement with key industry players, IE Singapore estimates that Singapore’s leading printers derive more than 70% of their sales overseas. In terms of competitive edge, Singapore printers have always been internationally renowned for producing high quality printed matter. In fact, Singapore was one of the first in the world to create pop-up books and book-plus (books with toys attached).

Textured varnish, spot UV, hot stamping, die-cutting as well as printing with metallic, and fluorescent, luminous and scented inks are among the many strong printing capabilities of Singapore printers. All these printing techniques and more will be showcased in an interactive printing industry brochure commissioned by IE Singapore. The project is part of IE Singapore’s efforts to brand and reinforce the positioning of the Singapore printing industry as one of Asia’s top printing destinations. The brochures would be distributed to international publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Said Mrs Tan Li Lin, Director of IE Singapore’s Corporate Group (Business Services), “There are many good reasons why Singapore is the preferred printing destination in Asia. Our strategic geographic location, excellent logistics infrastructure and strong intellectual property protection regime have made Singapore the preferred partner for many international publishers. Our exports of printed matter to the US, one of our top export markets, have been growing healthily by about 2% annually from the period 2000 to 2004. Singapore printers are able to ensure reliable delivery and total peace of mind to overseas customers who have entrusted their print jobs to them, thus allowing our export oriented printers to retain a strong base of loyal overseas customers. In addition, Singapore printers are committed to constantly upgrade their printing capabilities with the latest technologies.”

A good case in point is CS Graphics. The company is in the process of developing a new double storey production plant that boasts of the latest printing technology in an environmentally friendly environment, making CS Graphics one of the first printers in Asia to incorporate energy conservation and environment protection measures into its entire production process. The plant is expected to be ready by the end of this year. Said Mr Lee Sian Tee, Managing Director of CS Graphics, “There is increasing awareness in the industry to protect the environment and many of our clients are looking for printers that are environmentally friendly. This initiative is part of our efforts to broaden our market appeal, especially in key markets like the Europe and the USA.”

Another good example is Craft Print, one of the seven participating Singapore printing companies at the Fair. The company recently bought a new 10,000sqm factory near its existing factory to cater to increased overseas demand. With the new expansion, the company has also invested in one of the latest eight colour sheet fed printing press and the latest binding systems.

The Singapore Pavilion is located at Hall 6, Stand D914. Please refer to Annex 1 for the list of participating Singapore printers and publishers.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:

Cathie LAI (Ms)
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications
International Enterprise Singapore
Tel: +65 6433 4476
Fax: +65 6337 8136