German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the opening ceremony of Hanover Fair 2018 in Hanover, Germany, April 22, 2018. (Xinhua/Shan Yuqi)
Hanover Fair, the world's leading industrial trade show, opened on Sunday, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of free trade.
Speaking at the opening of the fair, Merkel said that multilateral cooperation can add value for everyone. "That's why we are promoting global trade that is as free as possible," she said.
The German government is also to focus research capacities in artificial intelligence and better networking with the economy. Germany has to catch up in the field, where the United States and China are very active and investing much energy, Merkel said.
According to her, Germany's overall R&D investment will increase to 3.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025.
From April 23 to 27, more than 5,000 exhibitors from 75 different nations and regions will be presenting technologies for tomorrow's factories and energy systems at the industrial showcase, which is held under the theme of "Integrated Industry -- Connect & Collaborate".
Some 60 percent of the exhibitors came from abroad. China and this year's fair partner country Mexico come after Germany in terms of the number of exhibitors.
The five-day trade show features five parallel shows, namely IAMD (Integrated Automation, Motion and Drives), Digital Factory, Energy, Industrial Supply and Research and Technology.
On the topic of "Logistics 4.0 meets Industry 4.0", it is the first time that Hanover fair is held on the same ground at the same time together with CeMAT, a leading international trade fair network for materials handling/intralogistics and logistics.
Hanover fair started in 1947 to boost the economic recovery of post-war Germany. It has repeated every year ever since and become the show window for the world's leading industrial technologies and equipments.