In the global economy, there are problems for sure, like the weakening U.S. dollar, the subprime crisis among other things, but that should not deter Germany from continuing its movement forward, said German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel at the opening ceremonies for Hannover Fair in Hannover, Germany last night.
“Leading institutions have lowered the growth rates; this is not good, but we have to look at the right numbers,” she said. It has taken a little while for German companies to get accustomed to operating in a global environment, “but it is now starting to pay off,” she said.
When it comes to globalization there are fears jobs will be lost to other nations, but Merkel does not think so.
“There is always a worry that globalization will hurt our affluence. I don’t agree with this. We can be winners in globalization, but we have to be willing to invest and have a strong commitment. Here we can work together with Japan.”
“Germany is an important strategic partner for Japan,” said former Japanese prime minster Shinzo Abe, who represented his country during the opening ceremonies as a special envoy for current Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. “Germany is our most important trading partner in Europe. Many companies like Volkswagen have come to Japan. Hopefully, we will have many more exchanges. Hopefully, (Hannover Fair) will lead to cultural advances. Companies working together will lead to greater technological innovation.”
Partnering with Japan for business exchanges in one thing, but energy conservation was also on Abe’s mind.
“Under the leadership of Merkel at the last G8 meeting in Germany, we established solid plans,” said Abe, who was elected prime minister 26 September 2006 and then resigned 12 September 2007 and replaced by Yasuo Fukuda. “Now, the meeting is going to Japan, now it is our responsibility to keep moving forward.”
In terms of saving energy, Abe talked about some of the leading technologies his country developed.
“We have had innovation technologies with the hybrid, but we have to do more. For energy conservation, we need to create new and innovative initiatives.”
While Abe focused his talk on energy, Merkel wanted to ensure the industry she was on top of the financial situation.
Merkel fended off critics that claim the German economy is in crisis.
“We don’t have a crisis in our system,” she said. “The social forces have to be better explained to citizens. The social market economy must be our joint opportunity to give our people and Europeans a sense of security. Financial markets have to learn their lessons to what happened. There needs to be more transparency in financial markets.”
Merkel also talked about the country banding together to try and reenergize students to gain a stronger interest in math and science so they can look to technical careers.
“We need new technical talent. It would be fatal if we suffered from demographics. We need to attract young people,” she said.
While Merkel wants to attract younger technical workers, she also wants to hang on to the more experienced workers.