MANILA – Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda is planning to take the opportunity in promoting the Philippine publishing industry and highlight the country’s culture and arts.

Legarda has been invited to be the guest of honor at the Frankfurter Buchmesse (FBM) 2025, the largest book fair in the world.

“As a guest of honor, we will be in a unique, prominent position in the global arena to show our publishing industry’s creativity and intellectual prowess. I have worked tirelessly for this, together with then NBDB (National Book Development Board) Chair Neni Sta. Romana Cruz and Board Members Karina Bolasco and Ani Almario. After eight years, since I learned about this Fair and its importance in 2015, we have worked tirelessly, and now we have finally clinched that honor and distinction,” Legarda said on Friday, being the keynote speaker of the Philippine Book Festival in Davao.

She said this should translate to tangible, economic impact such as an increase in the number of actual book exports, in sales of translation rights and other derivative rights, and will expand opportunities internationally for Philippines writers, book designers, artists, and comics illustrators.

“All these while we establish, strengthen, and expand our ties to our networks of publishers and cultural institutions across the world,” Legarda said.

Legarda, who has been pushing for this distinction as guest of honor at FBM since 2016, noted that the book fair is also seen as a significant boost to the country’s reputation, which will result in an uptick in tourism numbers, along with positive branding of growing exports from the country’s creative industry, such as film, music, architecture, among others.

Held annually in Frankfurt, Germany, the Frankfurt Book Fair remains to be the most important marketplace for publishers, authors, literary agents, media professionals, illustrators, and book and trade associations to negotiate their publishing and licensing rights.

It has attracted over 4,000 exhibitors across 100 countries and is seen as a convergence of political, cultural, and economic significance.

Before the Philippines’ bid to be the guest of honor at the FBM, Indonesia, in 2015, is the only ASEAN country that has become guest of honor. (PNA)