Exhibitors from 21 countries are participating in the Book Fair this year, reflecting international publishers' vision of Hong Kong as a gateway for expanding into Asia. Spain has for the first time set up a pavilion in an international exhibition area introduced by the Trade Development Council in 2004. Spain has the third-largest publishing industry in Europe after Britain and Germany. Six Spanish publishers are participating in the pavilion, which will be open until Sunday. Most of the titles exhibited are children's stories. Rocio Martinez, a Spanish trade officer, said publishers had been keen to come to the Book Fair. Spanish publishing houses have displayed their books in Tokyo and Beijing in the past two years. Hong Kong was a platform for Spanish publishers to expand to the rest of Asia, Ms Martinez said. Spanish publishers sold Euro2.1 million (HK$25.98 million) worth of books in Asia in 2006 as a result of increasing numbers of Spanish students and a growing interest in Spanish authors. Literature and youth literature account for 31.8 per cent of the Asian sales, while educational books for young people were also popular. But Sally Mak, an agent for Belgian publisher Casterman handling licensing rights for Belgian publications at the fair, said Taiwan was still the leading market for translated literature in Chinese-speaking communities. Her booth has been participating in the fair for four years, selling books to visitors and negotiating sales of copyright licenses for Belgian books. She said Taiwan had a history of inviting international publishers to its book fairs, and had nurtured a considerable pool of translators for languages other than English. The receptiveness to non-English literature had been growing on the mainland and in Hong Kong, she said, but not at a very rapid rate. 'I've seen a growing interest in non-English publications, especially books with high-quality, unique illustrations. However, it will take time to develop our capacity for translation.'