Making news

HCM City expects to become World Book Capital in 2025

Ho Chi Minh City is planning to apply for the title of UNESCO World Book Capital (WBC) in 2025, according to Lam Dinh Thang, Director of the municipal Department of Information and Communications.

He said that the city has advantages and potential to develop the publishing industry and reading culture in the community. 

There are 39 domestic and foreign publishers, more than 140 distribution units, and nearly 1,000 private bookstores in the city. It also has 1,500 local libraries and more than 1,100 school libraries, creating a favourable environment to meet the reading needs of all people.

For years, the publishing industry and reading culture in the city have been thriving strongly. From 2015-2020, the city published about 2 million copies of books on average each year with an annual growth rate of 10%.

Facing the strong development trend of digital technology, the electronic publishing market in the city has grown tremendously. In 2022, the number of electronic publications in the city increased more than three times compared to 2021, with more than 4 million users, equivalent to 3.4 million copies of books being read.

Moreover, with effective models implemented in recent years, for example, the book streets, the city is considered the "bright spot" of the whole country in the development of reading culture.

The title of WBC has been held each year since 2001 by a town or city committed to acting to create a culture of reading. It can provide an important impetus to experiment and innovate in the ways that literacy and reading are promoted, as well as to invest in key infrastructure, not least libraries.

Madrid in Spain was named the first WBC in 2001, Accra of Ghana in 2023, Strasbourg in France in 2024. UNESCO has launched the call for cities interested in holding the title in 2025, with applications due to be submitted no later than April 16./.