Kolkata: The Publishers and Booksellers Guild (organizers of the International Kolkata Book Fair) has signed an MoU with the Madrid Book Fair, Spain, for promotion and marketing of books as well as dissemination of information related to books between the two countries, official sources said on Friday.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Thursday in Madrid and is also aimed at fostering bilateral cultural relations by providing a platform for book lovers to meet, discuss, and explore opportunities.
“The MoU will develop strong institutional relationships in order to establish a sustainable mechanism to create broader platforms for book publishers on both sides,” a West Bengal government communiqué said.
The MoU will focus on how the two sides mutually collaborate in the organization of delegations of book publishers and create a joint committee to promote cooperation as well as bilateral projects for a mutually beneficial commitment that encourages the growth and popularization of books and reading habits.
Spain had participated in the International Kolkata Book Fair five years ago in the city and then invited state chief minister Mamata Banerjee to visit Spain, which was responded to by her leading a delegation representing almost all sectors. including sports.
Spain has also agreed to set up a Spanish language academy in Bengal.
The Director General of the Spanish Government, Guillermo Escribano, met on Thursday with visiting West Bengal Chief Secretary H.K. Dwivedi, Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister Alapan Bandyopadhyay, and Principal Secretary Industries, Commerce, and Enterprises Vandana Yadav, and they discussed the possibility of a Spanish language learning academy for students of Bengal as well as for the teachers.
The meeting was held in Madrid, where chief minister Mamata Banerjee is leading a delegation to seek investments from NRIs as well as from Spanish industrialists and investors.
Banerjee is in Spain to invite investors to take part in the Bengal Global Business Summit to be held on November 21–22, 2023.
“There is a demand for foreign language studies in the universities and colleges in West Bengal,” a state government communiqué said.
The government has recently brought out the new State Education Policy, and learning foreign languages forms an integral part of it.
The Director General of Languages also sought opportunities for collaboration and learning NLP (National Language Processing) and artificial language from the booming IT industry in West Bengal.
The officers invited a delegation from the Spanish government, along with universities, to explore avenues of collaboration.
Meanwhile, both sides will explore an agreement between their respective governments that can be signed during the BGBS summit.