U.S. to be Partner Country at Hannover Messe 2016

President Barack Obama is expected to appear at the 2016 Hannover Messe, which will be April 25-29 in Hannover, Germany and address the opening ceremonies in an event that also will showcase American culture.


The Netherlands was the 2014 Partner Country at Hannover Messe. The United States will be the 2016 Partner Country following an announcement Tuesday, March 24. Courtesy: Hannover MesseThe United States has accepted an invitation to be the Partner Country for the 2016 Hannover Messe trade fair in Germany. The formal announcement came Tuesday morning in a letter from U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to Germany's U.S. Ambassador Peter Wittig. This marks the first time since 1996 that the United States has Partner Country status at Hannover Messe.

"Hannover Messe 2016 is of exceptional importance to the development of our transatlantic trade relations," Wittig said. "Having the USA as the featured Partner Country will give us a golden opportunity to convey our dynamic business relations to the fullest while at the same time widening and deepening them."

President Barack Obama is expected to appear at Hannover Messe 2016, which will be April 25-29 in Hannover, Germany, and address the opening ceremonies in an event that also will showcase American culture. As the guest of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Obama is expected to be accompanied by the largest U.S. manufacturing delegation ever to appear at the world's largest industrial trade show.

"Hannover Messe has been fostering deeper ties with U.S. industry, staging business summits and inviting American delegations to Hannover to promote transatlantic trade relations," Hannover Messe officials said in a press release.

Hannover Messe officials have been negotiating with U.S. officials for the past five years to bring the world's largest manufacturing economy to Partner Country status.

"President Obama has committed himself to strengthening America's domestic industry. The modernization of America's industrial sector and the digital integration of its production plants and equipment are proceeding there at a rapid pace," said Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the managing board at Deutsche Messe. "The goal of the U.S. government is to regain its status as one of the world's leading production locations, which predestines the United States as next Partner Country at Hannover Messe."

The announcement of the Partner Country status at Hannover Messe usually occurs after the preceding event, which this year will be April 13-17 with India as the Partner Country. But Hannover Messe and U.S. officials decided to get a jump on the 2016 show with the early announcement. The goal is to attract both existing German manufacturers that are looking to expand operations into the U.S. and American manufacturers looking to grow their operations into Europe and Asia.

Another component of the Partner Country status is the chance for U.S. manufacturing regions to come to the show and recruit foreign direct investment in manufacturing. That effort, though the Department of Commerce, has grown in the last six years from just a few U.S. state contingents to more than 30 states in 2014.

"The USA's Partner Country program will be geared above all to attract foreign investment and expand U.S. export business," Hannover Messe officials said in a press release. "In this context, the country will showcase itself as an attractive location for investment and reinforce its reputation as a high-caliber manufacturer of competitive, top-quality products. The thematic focus of Partner Country USA will include energy efficiency and energy production, state-of-the-art production engineering, smart technologies, education and training, and Transatlantic partnerships."

- Bob Vavra is content manager, Plant Engineering, bvavra@cfemedia.com 

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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

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