Speech on The Development of the Book Industry in the Asean Region



By: Atty. Dominador D. Buhain
President, 2010 – 2012
Asia Pacific Publishers Association(APPA)
Past President, 2007-2009
ASEAN Book Publishers Association (ABPA)


Good morning!


First of all, I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to the organizing committee of the China-ASEAN Publishing Expo, most especially to Mr. Gu Liping, Chief of Division of Foreign Exchange and Cooperation of Guangxi Press and Publication Administration, China, for inviting the ABPA through this representation in my capacity as Past President from 2007 -2009 and now Vice-President and concurrently APPA President from 2010 to 2012.


For your kind information, ABPA is comprised of the national book publishers’ association of Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam which was formallt organized through the adoption of its Constitution and By Laws on August 31,2005 at the3 SEAMEO INNOTECH,Quezon City,Philippines.


I wish to inform you that ABPA was allowed through a letter dated August 22, 2007 to use the name ASEAN by the then ASEAN Secretary General Ong Keng Yong.


We have laid out the Matrix of Comparison of Member Countries’ Copyrights Laws with the view of establishing uniformed “best practices” in the region. As of this time, we are in the process of collating their respective National Book Policies.


As provided in our Constitution and By-Laws, the following are the objectives of ABPA :


1.To exchange ideas among ABPA member countries;


2.To emulate the best business practices and legal infrastructures among ABPA members;


3. To expand co-publishing programs, translation and distribution rights among ABPA members;


4. To promote better understanding and goodwill among
ASEAN countries;


5. To have better representation in international fora;


6. To work toward securing the right of publishers to publish and distribute the works of the mind in complete freedom, provided that in so doing they respect all legal rights attached to these works within their own country and internationally;


7. To promote and protect by all lawful means the principles of copyright on which depend the encouragement and authorship, publishing and dissemination of creative works and to defend copyright against all infringements which may restrict the rights of creators and publishers;


8.To overcome illiteracy, the lack of books and other educational materials;


9. To promote improvements in editorial and production standards through training and the use of new publishing
technology, and to develop more efficient distribution of


10. To seek abolition of all tariffs and restrictions, as much as possible on the importation or exportation of books and raw materials thereof and all present and future forms of electronically retrieved information in order to strengthen the enforcement of the Florence Agreement on the free-flow of information;


11. To give effect to these objectives by establishing such bodies, conventions and other types of meetings and organizations as are necessary for dealing with all problems affecting publishing;


12. To provide endorsement and support to the APPA and International Publishers Association (IPA) with the expectation that the latter two associations shall give reciprocally recognition to the ABPA.


Corollary to these objectives, we have formulated the following resolutions:

  • Resolution No. 1– Resolution Urging the Respective Governments of ASEAN Member-Countries to Adopt and/or Develop a Common Language to Bridge Communication and to Correspondingly Publish or Express the Predominant Language of Culture in Order to Foster Unity, Respect and Love for One Another that could Lead to Greater Economic Benefits and Greater Social and Cultural Ties. Adopted on August 30, 2006 at Manila, Philippines
  • Resolution No. 2– Resolution Creating Working Committees in ABPA to Carry-Out the Association’s Objectives. Adopted on November 25, 2006 at Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Resolution No. 3– Resolution Creating an Additional Working Committee in ASEAN Book Publishers Association (ABPA) to be Known as Book Fairs and International Affairs Committee. Adopted on April 29, 2007 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Resolution No. 4– Resolution Expressing the Sense of ABPA-Members to Fully Support all the Activities of the Association to Adhere to Unity, Solidity and Oneness in South East Asia. Adopted on April 29, 2007 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Resolution No. 5– Resolution Requesting the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) through its Secretary General Ong Keng Yong of the ASEAN Secretariat to Recognize and Accredit ASEAN Book Publishers Association (ABPA) as a Non-Governmental Organization Under the ASEAN. Adopted on April 29, 2007 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Resolution No. 6– Resolution Endorsing and Supporting the Application of Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia as Country-Members of Asia Pacific Publishers Association (APPA). Adopted on April 29, 2007 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Resolution No. 7– Resolution Commending Mr. Thanachai Santichaikul for his Pioneering and Sterling Leadership as First President of the ABPA. Adopted on August 29, 2007 at Pasay City, Philippines
  • Resolution No. 8– Resolution Requesting the Respective Ministries or Departments of Foreign Affairs of Each Member-Country of ABPA to Endorse to the ASEAN Secretariat the Application of ABPA as an ASEAN Accredited Civil Society Organization. Adopted on August 29, 2007 at Pasay City, Philippines
  • Resolution No. 9– Resolution Creating the Membership, Information and Technology Committee. Adopted October 25, 2007 at Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Resolution No. 10– Resolution Creating the Marketing Distribution and ASEAN Wide-Readership Committee. Adopted October 25, 2007 at Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Resolution No. 11– Resolution Appointing Atty. Rodelio T. Dascil, as Secretary General of ABPA in Accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws. Adopted October 25, 2007 at Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Resolution No. 12– Resolution Requiring the Mandatory Attendance of all the Chief Delegates in all Annual General Meetings as well as Attendance-Participation of all the Chief Delegate or his/her Representative in all ABPA’s Book Fairs, Fora and Executive or Working Level Committee Meetings in order to Ensure Solidity and Unity with the End in view of Realizing the ABPA’s Objectives and Purposes. Adopted on February 27, 2008 at Brunei Darussalam
  • Resolution No. 13– Resolution Approving the Giving of ABPA’s Book Awards, its Mechanics and Guidelines. Adopted on February 27, 2008 at Brunei Darussalam
  • Resolution No. 14– Resolution Approving the Creation of ABPA’s Book Award Judging Committee for the Year 2008 to be Composed of Singapore, Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia. Adopted on February 27, 2008 at Brunei Darussalam
  • Resolution No. 15– Resolution Urging Each Member-Country of ABPA to Exert on Best Effort to Engage Actively in Multilingual and Multicultural Co-Publishing and Translation in English with the End in View of Coming-up with Southeast Asian Books on Culture, Arts, Folktales, Folklores and Society in Order to Address the Dearth of Books and other Educational Materials on the Matter as well as to Attain Regional Economic Cooperation. Adopted on March 26, 2008 at Bangkok, Thailand
  • Resolution No. 16 – Resolution Appointing Ms. Triena Ong, President of Singapore Book Publishers Association (SBPA) as Treasurer of ABPA Pursuant to Rule IV, Paragraphs (1) and (10) of Constitution and By-Laws. Adopted on March 31, 2008 at Suntec, Singapore
  • Resolution No. 17 – Resolution Authorizing the ABPA President to Discuss and Meet with the World Bank Regarding the Problems on Publishing in Indonesia. Adopted on September 11, 2008 at Baguio City, Philippines
  • Resolution No. 18 – Resolution Urging All National Publishing Association of Member-Countries of ABPA to Ex ert their Best Effort to have English Translation in All International Book Fairs, Publishing Forum and Related Activities. Adopted on September 11, 2008 at Baguio City, Philippines
  • Resolution No. 19 – Resolution Approving the Creation of ABPA Book Awards Judging Committee for the Year 2009 to be Composed of Chief Delegate or Representative from the Country-Members of Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Adopted on September 11, 2008 at Baguio City, Philippines
  • Resolution No. 20 – Resolution Approving the Holding of a Three-Day Book Design Workshop from February 28 to March 2, 2009 at Brunei Darussalam in Conjunction with Brunei Book Fair 2009 Organized by Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka Brunei in Cooperation with ABPA. Adopted on November 12, 2008 at Jakarta, Indonesia and confirmed in Brunei Darussalam on February 27, 2009
  • Resolution No. 21 – Resolution Expressing the Gratitude and Thanks of the ABPA to Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka Brunei (DBP) for Organizing and Sponsoring the 1st ABPA Book Design Workshop and Commending the DBP for the Success of the Workshop. Adopted on February 27, 2009 at Brunei Darussalam and confirmed in Bangkok, Thailand on March 26, 2009
  • Resolution No. 22 – Resolution Commending Dr. Mataim Bin Bakar for his Active Participation and Support to All ABPA Activities FROM 2006 TO February 27, 2009 and Expressing the Warm Congratulations of ABPA on his Promotion. Adopted on February 27, 2009 at Brunei, Darussalam and confirmed in Bangkok, Thailand on March 26, 2009


We are likewise proposing the following resolutions:


A.Substantial reduction, if not complete removal, of the cost of mailing books especially for display at bookfairs (being a non-profit or non-commercial activity) under the endorsement of ABPA using as legal basis the Florence Agreement;


Note: This finds support under the IPA Declaration on Freedom of Circulation.


Publishers have the right to freely distribute books, publications and educational, scientific and cultural material, without special taxes, duties or other forms of government intervention. This includes the international circulation through import, export and rights sales.


Example of IPA Action:


IPA supports and promotes the free flow of books and supports the ratification and implementation of the 1950 UNESCO Florence Agreement. Various IPA Congresses have issued numerous recommendations to that effect.


B. Removal of custom duties on the exportation or importation of books for display of bookfairs under the endorsement of ABPA using as legal basis to the Florence Agreement;


(Same argument as the above.)


C. Strict observance of copyright laws on digital products by enhancing sanctions for violations and the like.


Incidentally, the Asia Pacific Publishers Association (APPA), of which I am the President, has seventeen (17) member-countries namely Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolian, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea which include China through the Publishers Association of China (PAC). The PAC has been a member of APPA since its inception in 1993.


The country reports of the PAC and the Philippines through the Philippine Educational Publishers Association (PEPA) during the 18th APPA Annual General Assembly on February 24-26, 2011 at the Rizqun International Hotel, in Gadong, Brunei Darussalam are hereby enclosed


Last October 12, 2011 APPA held a midyear working level committee meeting at the Ratio Room in the course of the 63rd Frankfurt Bookfair on where the PAC was represented by the Vice President of the Periodical Association of China Mr. Li Baozhong.


In that Meeting, PAC through Mr. Baozhong sought the support of APPA for admission as a member of International Publishers Association (IPA) which comprise of sixty three (63) member-countries since all efforts exerted failed for the past thirteen (13) years.


Although the working level committee agreed that it would not recommend approval as yet of the admission of China to the IPA, the same could be an important part of the deliberation during the forthcoming AGM in Sri Lanka in November 2012.

Thank you.

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