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NZ to be Guest of Honour at Frankfurt Book Fair

New Zealand will be the Guest of Honour at the prestigious 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, Arts Minister Christopher Finlayson announced today.

“The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s most prestigious and well attended international publishing event,” Mr Finlayson said. “As the Guest of Honour, New Zealand will significantly raise its profile not only in Germany, but also with over 110 exhibiting countries and the hundreds of thousands of visitors attending the fair.”

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the biggest book and media trade fair in the world - with around 7,500 exhibitors from over 110 countries and about 300.000 visitors yearly. It is also the world’s oldest publishing event and takes place over five busy days of international book trading.

The Guest of Honour country showcases its culture in a year-long programme throughout Germany, culminating in the Frankfurt Book Fair. New Zealand will exhibit its premier arts, creative industries and stories to new audiences and businesses. A hand-over ceremony from the current Guest of Honour, Iceland, will be held this October.

“The opportunities for our culture and cultural exports are extensive; the economic benefits and relationships built during New Zealand’s time as Guest of Honour will provide considerable opportunities for business, tourism and education,” Mr Finlayson said.

German Foreign Minister Dr Guido Westerwelle, who has been holding foreign policy talks with New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, witnessed the contract signing today in Auckland between Frankfurt Book Fair Director Juergen Boos and Ministry for Culture and Heritage Chief Executive, Lewis Holden.

Additional information

Kathryn Ryan interviewed Juergen Boos on Friday 03 June's Nine to Noon radio programme.  You can listen to the interview on Radio New Zealand's website.