India-focussed trade fair ends on upbeat note
28 April 2006, HANOVER - The world's biggest industrial and technology fair, the Hanover Trade Fair, came to an end Friday against the backdrop of growing confidence about the global economic outlook and deepening ties between Germany and India.
28 April 2006
HANOVER - The world's biggest industrial and technology fair, the Hanover Trade Fair, came to an end Friday against the backdrop of growing confidence about the global economic outlook and deepening ties between Germany and India.
After a break of more than 20 years, India was the five-day trade show's sponsor, giving the world's second fastest growing economy the chance to showcase its new industrial might and a platform for its companies to build on their global aspirations.
In marking the end of the fair, officials announced that Turkey is to be the partner nation next year with the 2007 industrial show also to stage a so-called "Youth Technology Day."
Federation of German Industry chief Juergen Thumann said there had been a "top mood" prevailing at the fair and among its 5,200 exhibitors.
More than 341 Indian companies mounted exhibitions at the fair, which ended a week of surveys pointing to signs that the world economy was gaining strength.
But data released by the fair Friday showed that the number of visitors making their way past this year's exhibits including massive pipeline systems, through to electrical equipment and small precision instruments was lower than in 2005.
Last year 200,000 people turned up for the fair. This year about 155,000 visitors passed through entrance gates to the fair, which focused on industrial automation and energy equipment.
However, that did not appear to dampen the exhibitors' upbeat mood. A survey of exhibitors showed that 60 per cent of the companies expect an increase in both foreign and domestic turnover in the next two months.
The survey found that two-thirds of the exhibitors were planning to extend their investments with every second firm wanting to either marginally or strongly build up its workforce.
On Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel in officially opening the fair with Indian and German businesses signing a string of contracts, including a co-operation deal between the two nation's railway authorities.
This included assistance from Germany's Deutsche Bahn AG to Indian Railways in helping India to modernize its railway network and signalling system.
Indeed, with India's economic growth expected to top eight per cent this year the challenges of meeting the nation's enormous infrastructure demands also emerged as a major theme of the fair.
The Indian ambassador in Germany, Meera Shankar, expressed pleasure with the presentation of her country at the fair which she said had contributed to drawing India and Germany closer together.
India's representation also helped to break up the otherwise normally serious-minded world of the Hanover Trade Fair with a little bit of local Indian colour.
In addition to a restaurant offering Indian food, fair organizers mounted an Indian pop concert and fashion show. Even Merkel was given a sari to mark her visit to the fair.
Subject: German news