Technological Ties

Trade Sparks Extend to CeBIT

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    CeBIT is Germany’s largest technology trade fair. 3,000 exhibitors from 70 countries will be present this week in Hanover, showcasing the latest in technological innovations.

  • Facts


    • German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe both emphasized the importance of free trade, including in the digital sphere.
    • Digitalization is the theme of this year’s fair, while artificial intelligence is also on show. Mr. Abe said there was nothing to fear from AI.
    • Bitkom, an IT trade association, says digitalization can help the industry grow to €161 billion, or $173 billion this year.
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Japanese Prime Minister Abe and German Chancellor Merkel during media tour of the world’s biggest computer fair CeBit in Hanover
Japan can help Germany get to grips with new innovations in business. Source: Reuters

No sooner had she got off the plane after her much-talked-about visit to Washington last Friday, Angela Merkel was already preparing for her next engagement: a trip to Hanover for the CeBIT technology trade fair.

At least on this occasion she had a friendlier companion than U.S. President Donald Trump. There were no awkward looks or grimaces, and there was certainly no confusion over handshakes when she opened the fair Sunday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose country this year is partnering CeBIT, Germany’s largest technology trade fair.

Like last year, digitalization of the economy is the theme for the coming week in Hanover, yet the chancellor could have been forgiven for having other matters on her mind as she posed for photos alongside Mr. Abe. The thorny issue of free trade has attracted its fair share of headlines over recent days, and Ms. Merkel again felt obliged to underline Germany’s stance.

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