Hannover Messe : An Opportunity to Select the USA as a Partner for Future Trade and Investment EndeavorsFebruary 10, 2016
John B. Emerson is the U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining more than one hundred reporters at the Hannover Exhibition Center in Germany for the Press Preview for Hannover Messe 2016. Roughly 40 companies presented their latest products and innovations to representatives of media outlets from all over the world. Journalists were not only eager to learn about new, cutting-edge technology, but also wanted to know what it means exactly for the United States to be the Partner Country for the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology.
The United States is truly honored to be the Partner Country or, in German, Partnerland for the 2016 Hannover Messe, and I know that Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and President Obama are excited to be coming to Germany in late April. And the whole team from the U.S. diplomatic mission in Germany is fully engaged in making certain that our partnership is an unparalleled success.
Over the course of its 70 year history, the Hannover Messe has highlighted advances in industry and acted as a driving force for technical progress. Over the years, the Hannover Fair has been a brilliant host for some of the most innovative American companies. Now, for the first time since the Fair was established, the United States will be the Partner Country. This will offer the U.S. delegation maximum exposure and numerous face-to-face opportunities to connect to the global industrial technology marketplace and discover new business prospects.
The 2016 Hannover Messe is an unprecedented opportunity. Secretary Pritzker and her Department of Commerce are on course to bring more than 250 companies to the show in April. The size and scope of the U.S. delegation means attendees and exhibitors from foreign markets can connect with a diverse group representing the American industrial technology sector. There will be at least one U.S. Pavilion in each of the six distinct industry areas at the Hannover Messe. In addition to bringing business delegations from around the world to the Messe, trade and investment specialists from our Foreign Commercial Service will be on hand in each of the U.S. pavilions to bring businesses together.
As you may know, last year the United States became Germany’s largest customer; and Germany today is America’s largest trading partner in Europe. In other words, Germany and the United States have a huge stake in the health and vitality of each other’s economies. President Obama’s presence illustrates how important this show will be for both the U.S. and German business communities.
If you map the progress of the Hannover Messe, which was founded just two months after the Marshall Plan was announced in 1947, it is obvious that we have come a long way together; but there is still much more to do. Now is the time for us to redouble our efforts to cultivate long term economic growth into the 21st century.
The 2016 Hannover Messe will underline the importance of the German-American and the broader transatlantic economic relationships in a rapidly globalizing world. From the U.S. point of view, it offers a unique opportunity not only to showcase American innovation and ingenuity, but to strengthen the transatlantic partnership at a critical juncture.
Without a doubt, the global digitalization of manufacturing – advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology and other areas of technology and science, all of which will be on display here in Hannover – is transforming our societies and our economies. Innovations at the intersection of these disciplines will affect every industry, and every societal group, and the daily lives of individuals and their families – in new and unforeseen ways – for years to come. Learning how we can benefit from this revolution, while acknowledging and addressing the challenges it poses, is of crucial importance – not only for our businesses and workers at home, but for people around the world.
And so let me end where I began – to underscore the importance of Partnerland 2016 to the United States and our hundreds of companies and economic development agencies that will be on the trade show floor in Hannover this April. We could not be more excited to offer businesses and industries from Germany, Europe, and around the world the opportunity to visit our exhibitors, to make deals, and to select the USA as a partner for their future trade and investment endeavors.
Less than 80 days from now, Germany and the United States of America will show the world exactly why our doing business together makes total business sense. And, in so doing, we will demonstrate not only with our words, but through the buzz of business activity our companies create together at the Hannover Messe, why the growth of our transatlantic partnership is so vitally important to our collective future.