Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honor: Indonesia

Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honor: Indonesia[Press Release]

THE MARKETS – Global Publishing Summit
Market overview: Indonesia – the invisible market

Frankfurt, 1 October 2015 – With the slogan “17,000 Islands of Imagination”, Indonesia, the fourth largest country in the world, is offering glimpses into its rich cultural and literary landscape – for the first time in the German-speaking world. “In its role as guest of honour at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair, Indonesia has the opportunity to take a first tentative step on the international literary stage”, explains Goenawan Mohamad, Chairman of the Guest of Honour Committee. Indonesia’s book market is one of seven book markets that will be analysed closely at THE MARKETS – Global Publishing Summit, the conference to kick off the Frankfurt Book Fair. The conference will be held on Tuesday, 13 October 2015. Information about the other book markets and speakers is available at

The publisher and conference speaker Rafli L. Sato (BAB Publishing Indonesia) adds: “Despite its cultural richness, Indonesia is ‘probably the most invisible country’, to quote the bestselling author Elizabeth Pisani.” The primary aim in Frankfurt is “to reveal the hidden potential of the Indonesian book market and to show how the country, with its art and culture, can enrich the world’s multi-cultural, globalised society.”

Since transitioning to a democratic system in 1998, the nation, with its population of 250 million, has been registering sustained economic growth. Since 2004, the real gross domestic product has been growing by at least five per cent (source: Statista). The goal in 2015 is 5.2 per cent – 1.7 per cent more than in 2014. According to forecasts by economists, by 2030 Indonesia will be in fifth place in the ranking of the 20 largest national economies (in 2014 it stood in ninth place; source: PricewaterhouseCoopers).

Parallel to its economic growth, the country’s domestic book market – which literary agent Thomas Nung Atasana describes as “an emerging market with promising opportunities” – has also developed. In 2013, Indonesian publishers’ sales amounted to 48.1 million euros (+16.7 per cent compared to 41.2 million euros in 2012). Between 2007 and 2012, sales increased by 6 per cent each year. In 2014, there were 40,000 new titles. Between 40 and 50 per cent of all published titles are translations, predominantly from the English, Arabic, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. This makes Indonesia the largest buyer of rights in Southeast Asia. The share of literature translated from the Indonesian is more limited in comparison. In 2013, seven titles were translated to the German. As part of Indonesia’s presence as Guest of Honour in Frankfurt, 200 Indonesian titles will be available in German or English.

Three factors currently drive the book market. Education enjoys high priority in Indonesia; since 2003, the government is committed to investing 20 per cent of the national budget in education. This goal has been reached every year since. (Source: Foreign Office.) A rapidly growing middle class of 90 million people to date and an extremely young population (according to the Foreign Office, 50 per cent of Indonesians are under 30 years) are continually increasing the number of potential consumers of content. At the same time, interest in Islamic subjects is growing. 35 per cent of the world’s Muslims live in Indonesia. Some 100 publishers are specialising in the publication of Islamic content.

“The digital revolution is coming to Indonesia’s education sector, and Indonesia is a hotbed for creative talent in this area”, says Hary Candra, Director of the software developer AmazingEdu, describing a third trend. E-books currently account for only 2 per cent of all book sales. Nevertheless, Haidar Bagir, President Director of the publishing group Mizan, predicts: “The Indonesian e-commerce market is about to take off.” Indonesia is already considered the “social media capital” of the world, and its capital Jakarta “the most active Twitter city”. In 2013, 63 million Indonesians were active on social media, and 45 per cent of the population uses mobile devices to read and study.

The Indonesian national stand is located in Hall 4.0 C80. The Guest of Honour Pavilion is in the Forum, Level 1.

Overview of the Indonesian book market:
Sales: 48.1 million euros (2013)
New releases: 40,000 titles (2014)
Copies sold: 33,199,557 (2013)
Bookstores: 1,400
Publishers: 1,317
Libraries: 302,000 (incl. school libraries)
Literacy rate: 93 per cent

THE MARKETS: Global Publishing Summit
Organised by the Frankfurt Book Fair and Publishing Perspectives
Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Further information about the event and how to register is available online at and

Special offer for trade visitors: the Frankfurt Book Fair BUSINESS ticket
The BUSINESS ticket for trade visitors gives holders access to the Business Club and its full range of services. The five-day BUSINESS ticket also includes admission to THE MARKETS conferences (13 October 2015) and the 29th International Rights Directors Meeting (13 October 2015). The five-day BUSINESS ticket for trade visitors costs 990 euros plus value-added tax. The one-day BUSINESS ticket costs 490 euros plus value-added tax. Further information is available at

About the Frankfurt Book Fair
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with 7,100 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, around 270,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and around 9,300 accredited journalists in attendance. It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries. Since 1976, the Book Fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurt Book Fair organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. With its Business Club, the Frankfurt Book Fair offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, pioneers, experts and visionaries. The Frankfurt Book Fair is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association.


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