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HANNOVER, April 8 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel officialy opened the world's major Hannover-Messe Industrial Fair here on Sunday night. This year Russia acts in the honorary status of the Fair's Partner Country.
Russia's participation in the Fair " is part and parcel of political cooperation between the Russian Federation (RF) and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and is illusrative of the two countries' close interrelationship", Angela Merkel told the opening ceremony.
"Russia is a vast country which is in need of immense investments," the Chancellor said. "We, for our part, are ready to render support in the modernization and diversification of the Russian economy". Germany can offer assistance in matters concerning science, innovations, and the training of personnel, she pointed out. "The RF stands all the chances to embark on new ways of development," Merkel said.
The FRG Head of Government emphasized that all economic agreements with the RF "are being implemented systematically and in good faith". German companies are interested in deepening cooperation with Russia provided there is an appropriate "legal dependability," Merkel pointed out.
The Chancellor also stressed that an open society is one of guarantors of the wellbeing of the Russian citizens. "We are convinced that wellbeing will be ensured only provided an active civil society is in existence," Merkel said. She pointed out in this connection, "We must intensify discussions on this subject, further develop our notions and give a chance to non-governmental organizations in Russia and to many other associations which promote innovations".
Greeting Russian exhibitors on behalf of the FRG government, the Chancellor pointed out that the Hannover Fair "has long developed into a showcase of industry on a global scale".
Johanna Wanka, German Minister of Education and Research, underlined, for her part, that the German economy is based primarily on "the competitiveness of innovative commodities and services". She said the future belongs to an effective and and dynamic industrial production which can be achieved only provided automation and industrial computerization systems are developed. "The Hannover Fair is featuring, in point of fact, the products of the fourth industrial revolution," the Minister said.
Friedhelm Loh, head of the Central Union of the Producers of Electronics (ZVEI), remarked, for his part, "Competition and open markets are the drivers of technological progress".
"We highly appreciate Russia's participation in the Fair," he emphasized, expressing hope that the Russian President's visit "will contribute to strengthening the economic relationship between Russia and Germany". Loh's opinion is that "the innovative potential of the RF is obvious".
Hannover Industrial Fairs have been held since 1947. The motto of the Fair, which attracts 6,500 exhibitors from 62 countries, is "Global Industry".The Fair highlights industrial automation system, computer engineering, and 'intelligent' technologies. Last year, 195,000 people visited the Fair. China was the Partner Country.