April 12, 2018

The 31st Tehran International Book Fair is scheduled to take place between May 2 and 12. Domestic and foreign publishers continue to worry about book prices despite a recent move by the government to fix the foreign currency exchange rate at 43,000 rials to a dollar.

Many officials including those at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance are sceptical about the move to stabilize the currency market. International wire transfers follow live foreign currency exchange rates on a given day. And all payments must be made before delivery of the books.

Speaking about the continued fall of the rial against the dollar, Davoud Musaei, the head of the international publishers’ committee, said: “We have no idea how the foreign currency market will perform between now and May 2. We don’t know how to handle the foreign book section of the fair. Even the Ministry of Culture is not sure what will happen to the exchange rate.” Mr. Musaei added that most of the publishers in this year’s event had participated in previous fairs.  

Amir Masoud Shahramnia, the vice president of the Tehran book fair, said he believed the foreign currency market would stabilize soon.

Mr. Shahramnia said: “Less than 10 percent of all the business transactions at the fair will be in U.S. dollars, and the rest will be in rials. The exchange rate will not have a serious impact on the fair.”

“Payments are made well in advance of the delivery of the books,” he added. “The exchange rates determine the prices of course, but it is too soon to say that the market will have a negative impact on the international section of the fair.”

“The currency market will hopefully stabilize. God willing, everything will work out,” he concluded.

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