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The 30th Tehran International Book Fair opened at the new Shahr-e-Aftab (Sun City) complex in south Tehran on May 3 and will run through May 13.
The 30th Tehran International Book Fair opened at the new Shahr-e-Aftab (Sun City) complex in south Tehran on May 3 and will run through May 13.

Cultural Trade Enhances Economic Interactions

Literature and culture are such important parts of our lives that we cannot do business without paying attention to them, the Finnish ambassador to Iran said
Trade between Iran and Finland has grown by 100% every year since 2015 when Iran signed a landmark nuclear deal with world powers

Cultural Trade Enhances Economic Interactions

In addition to being a powerful means of intercultural communications, books contribute considerably to other fields as well, especially economy.
With this aim in mind, the 30th Tehran International Book Fair opened at the new Shahr-e-Aftab (Sun City) complex in south Tehran on May 3 hosted a strong turnout of domestic and foreign participants. The event will run through May 13.
Finland is one of the countries participating in the annual event for the first time. In an exclusive interview with Financial Tribune, Ambassador of Finland in Tehran Harri Kamarainen, who visited the book fair on Wednesday, highlighted the opportunity of enhancing economic interactions by developing cultural relations, saying it is crucial to learn about a country’s literature and culture before making inroads into its market.
“I believe literature and culture are such important parts of our lives that we cannot do business without paying attention to culture. That is why today, to all the Finnish businessmen who want to travel to Iran, I always advise them to first buy Shahnameh in Finnish and then buy a ticket to Tehran,” he said.
The eminent Iranian poet Ferdowsi’s epic Shahnameh (The Grand Book) recounts Iran’s mythical history from creation through to the 7th-century Islamic conquest.
Iran and Finland are no strangers to doing trade. Kamarainen said their mutual cooperation is continuing in a wide range of fields, including energy, agriculture, health technology and information technology.
According to the envoy, trade between Iran and Finland has grown by 100% every year since 2015 when Iran signed a landmark nuclear deal with world powers, which led to the removal of international sanctions against the Islamic Republic the following year.
Echoing these views, Per Linner, the first secretary of the Embassy of Sweden in Tehran, told Financial Tribune at the book fair that the Swedes trade in cultural products.
“We are always trying to keep our markets open and for us, trade in all kinds of areas is beneficial, including books,” he added.
Referring to the downside of Iran’s book and publishing industry, Linner said the fact that Iran has yet to sign on the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works poses a challenge to Swedish publishers.
“Only a small number of Iranian publishing houses respect copyright and sign agreements with Swedish publishing houses. This means that unfortunately, Iranian publishers are free to publish any foreign book without paying for its copyright,” he said.
The Berne Convention is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886. It formally mandated several aspects of modern copyright law; it introduced the concept that a copyright exists the moment a work is “fixed”, rather than requiring registration.
It also enforces a requirement that countries recognize copyrights held by the citizens of all other parties to the convention.
According to Linner, Iran’s accession to the Berne Convention is also essential if the country seeks to join the World Trade Organization, “because that’s part of the legal framework for the WTO”.
To date, Iran remains the world’s largest economy outside World Trade Organization. WTO received Iran’s application for accession on July 19, 1996. It took the organization nine years to accept Iran as an observer member.
In 2005, WTO eventually established a working party composed of a group of representatives tasked with assessing Iran’s accession bid. However, the chairman of the party has not yet been elected.
Linner hoped that the implementation of Iran’s nuclear deal with the world powers will lead to a steady pickup in Iran-Sweden trade and investment.

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