by Marian Draganov
SOFIA, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative inspired Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press (FLTRP), a leading Chinese publishing house, to participate in Sofia International Book Fair.
Zou Xiaobai, FLTRP's deputy director Multi-language Publishing and deputy general manager Language Service Center, told Xinhua that they were the first Chinese publishing house to participate in the fair.
"We came here to get Bulgarian readers to know us, and we want to know more about Bulgarian readers, publishers, bookshops, markets. The more, the better," said Zou, whose employer is the largest foreign languages publisher and university press in China, ranking third in sales turnover among all the publishing houses in China.
FLTRP is not an absolute newcomer on the Bulgarian book market. In 2016, FLTRP started cooperation with Bulgarian publishing house Iztok-Zapad (East-West). This March, the Chinese publisher established its editorial department in Sofia, FLTRP`s first overseas branch among all Belt and Road countries.
"We will introduce Bulgarian literature works into China, and hopefully we can see more of Chinese literature works on the Bulgarian market," Zou said.
"We started our cooperation with Iztok-Zapad under the Belt and Road Initiative," Zou said. "Without this initiative, we could not have imagined to make this trip to Bulgaria," she added.
The two publishing houses have jointly published several Chinese books in Bulgarian such as "Insights into Chinese Culture" and "Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture".
"Bulgarian readers are hungry for Chinese books," Luben Kozarev, Iztok-Zapad's founder and president, told Xinhua.
In its 15 years, Iztok-Zapad has published some 50 books related to China, of which more than 30 have been written by Chinese authors, such as the Bulgarian version of Chinese President Xi Jinping's book "The Chinese Dream of the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation".
The 45th edition of the six-day exhibition, which kicked off in the National Palace of Culture on Tuesday, gathered more than 150 publishers from Bulgaria, China, Italy, Iran, Romania and Turkey.