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The man behind the print - Hong Kong publisher makes first visit to Jamaica

Published:Tuesday | May 17, 2016 | 11:39 AM
George Tai (right), managing director of Hong Kong-based Regent Publishing Services,shows off a copy of ‘Gleaner 180’, which his company printed, with Garfield Grandison,The Gleaner’s editor-in-chief. Looking on is Jenni Campbell, The Gleaner’s managingeditor. Tai made a courtesy call on the editors at their central Kingston offices yesterday.

You may not know his name, but you certainly know his work. George Tai, managing director of Hong Kong-based Regent Publishing Services, has been printing some of Jamaica's most popular publications, including 50 Golden Moments, Roving with Lalah, and Gleaner 180 - all in collaboration with Ian Randle Publishers.

The energetic Tai is in the island as guest of Randle, and paid a courtesy call on The Gleaner's Editor-in-Chief Garfield Grandison, and Managing Editor Jenni Campbell at their offices in central Kingston yesterday.

Tai recalled his first meeting with Randle, nearly 30 years ago.

"It's a real friendship and anything that comes from Mr Randle, I try not to disappoint him," said Tai.

This is his first visit to the country and he said he was already in love with the island.

"I love your weather - maybe a bit too hot, but very different from Hong Kong. My wife will love your weather better than me, because she hates cold weather," he said.

Tai said he hoped to see the north coast, via the new highway constructed by China Harbour Engineering Company.

"I hope we did a good job with the road," he joked. "I think this country has potential to grow. It may take a long time. But you have the land, you have the harbour, the population. So why not?"

Tai started in the printing business in 1973, and his company now does significant business in mainland China. Regent Publishing also has a strong foothold in North America.

"People - no matter what age group they are in - can always learn something from our publications," he said, noting his company's publications span various topics.


"We work very closely with publishers. They rely on our quality control to ensure that the finished product will meet with the consumers' satisfaction."

He admitted that technology has negatively impacted the industry, but he is not sounding the death knell just yet.

"I strongly believe that there is a large number of people who prefer to hold a book in their hand when they have time to sit down," he said. "Not everyone will be happy to look at the monitor to learn things. The statistics tell us that in the last one or two years, the number of readers has come back."

Randle lauded Tai's ability to satisfy customer's needs.

"He can produce anything you can conceive," Randle said.