The opening ceremony of Hannover Messe 2016 was hosted by US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The international trade event officially opened in the evening on Sunday 24 April 2016 at the Hannover Congress Centrum.
This year, the USA is a partner country at Hannover Messe, the showcase for industrial technologies. Accompanying the President is the largest ever congregation of US businesses.
In his opening remarks, Obama thanked Merkel for inviting him to attend the event and spoke of his pleasure at being the being the first US president to attend Hannover Messe.
“I am joined here today… by more than 350 American companies, including 200 small and medium-sized businesses and dozens of economic development organisations from states, cities and communities across the United States,” he said.
President Obama highlighted the US Government’s commitment to re-growing the US manufacturing industry – a plan which has been high on the governmental agenda for some time now.
In the presidential State of the Union speech in January, Obama spoke of the recent regrowth in the industry and earlier this month the White House released a report highlighting the technology areas in advanced manufacturing that are the current priorities for the Federal Government.
“As President I have worked to make sure that we are sustaining the spirit of innovation in the United States,” he said. “We’ve launched next-generation manufacturing hubs in new online tools to help entrepreneurs start new businesses fast. Over the last six years the United States has created more than 14 million private sector jobs including hundreds of thousands in manufacturing.
“Here at Hannover Messe you will see examples of American growth and ingenuity including a full 3D-printed electric car. Angela," he added, addressing the German Chancellor, "maybe you and I can go driving?”.
The President also spoke of his commitment to working with Germany and the wider European Union to relax barriers to transatlantic trade and, in particular, to securing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which aims to promote trade and multilateral economic growth.
"I am here because we are ready to do even more business with Germany, more business with Europe and more business with the world,” he said.
“There are still too many barriers that prevent more transatlantic trade and investment. Even though tariffs between the United States and the EU are relatively low on average, some products still face high tariffs, very high tariffs."
The remarks come just days after Obama warned the UK against leaving the European Union, stating that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US could take up to 10 years.
Prior to the event, Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the managing board at Deutsche Messe AG, who run Hannover Messe, spoke of the importance of the partnership with the United States for German industry.
“In the midst of its reindustrialisation, the United States has become a very attractive business partner for industry. For German machinery and plant manufacturers, the USA is once again the number one market,” Köckler said.
It’s not all business at Hannover Messe and President Obama wasted no time proving that he also hopes to have a good time and enforce German-US relations while present in Hannover.
“It is also quite a pleasure to be here as the German’s celebrate the 500th anniversary of your beer purity law,” he said. “I may join you in that celebration.”