Jakarta. The development of science and technology is believed to bring an advance to a country. “There is no progress in a country without science and technology. A country rich in natural resources but pays no attention to the development of science and technology will be conquered by another country advanced in both areas,” Vice President Jusuf Kalla stated this when formally opening the 18th Indonesian Publishers Association (Ikapi)’s national congress at the Vice President’s Palace today.

He added that sciences are gained through education. “And in education, there are two main elements we can never forget. They are teachers and books,” he said.

An advance of a nation, according to the Vice President, is equal to efforts in developing science and technology through education and reading.

However, Mr Kalla argues, there is a specific obstacle for book publishers in this digital era. “In the past, the hurdles were on the difficulty to find good writers and the high-priced papers. Now, writers are everywhere, yet they use non-printed materials to spread their thoughts using internet, which is faster and can be accessed anywhere,” he said.

Previously, before the Vice President came to the stage delivering his speech, Ikapi’s chairman Lucya Andam Dewi reported that the congress would run from 3 to 5 December 2015 and participated by more than 200 Ikapi’s members, observers, and other stake holders in the book industry.

The congress, Ms Dewi continued, is vital for the development of national book in the future as the organization is hoped, together with the government, to reinforce its role in building the national basic literacy. In the last five years, she added, the communication between government and Ikapi had been very intensive, particularly in preparing Indonesia as the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2015, translation projects of some books written by Indonesian authors, and in the accomplishment of the Indonesia International Book Fair 2015 in Jakarta.