19062024Wed
Last update:Wed, 08 May 2024

State Minister of Investment Promotion Dilum Amunugama leads the first ever official Sri Lankan delegation to Germany’s ‘Hannover Messe 2024’, world’s leading industrial trade fair

Hannover2024 1State Minister of Investment Promotion Dilum Amunugama participated in the ‘Hannover Messe 2024’ in Hannover, Germany from 24-26 April 2024. This was the first time that Sri Lanka had officially participated at the Hannover Messe which is considered to be world’s leading industrial trade fair.

State Minister Amunugama’s visit to Hannover Messe focussed on creating awareness in Germany about investing in Sri Lanka, exploring opportunities for Sri Lankan businesses and strengthening economic relations with Germany. The State Minister participated at the Hannover Messe accepting an invitation extended by Ms. Marie Antonia von Schönburg, Chief Delegate of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (AHK) in Sri Lanka. Mr. Michael Rose, Head of Protocol and Mr. Andrej Gross, Director-Public Affairs for East Germany and Berlin of Deutsche Messe, the organizer of Hannover Messe, welcomed State Minister Amunugama and the delegation to ‘Hannover Messe 2024’.

Hannover2024 3The Hannover Messe is an important venue for businesses from across the world to learn about important innovations that drive industrial competitiveness and sustainability. It is also a venue for businesses to find partners for collaborative ventures and for countries to showcase their investment and technological potential. The focus of this year’s trade fair was on how businesses can take advantage of developments such as artificial intelligence (AI), hydrogen and many other high-tech solutions with many of the world’s leading companies presenting their latest technologies and innovations in related fields. This year’s edition of Hannover Messe was held from 22- 26 April 2024 and was attended by more than 130,000 visitors from 150 countries, 4,000 exhibiting companies, 300 start-ups and over 300 economic and political delegations from all over the world.

Hannover2024 4State Minister Amunugama made a keynote speech on “Sri Lanka’s path to attract investments” at the Asia- Pacific Forum of the Hannover Messe which was moderated by Ms. Schönburg. The State Minister highlighted opportunities for investment in Sri Lanka including in the Port City project and extended an invitation for interested parties to visit Sri Lanka to witness firsthand the potential for investment and business collaborations. The State Minister observed that as Germany is the industrial powerhouse of Europe, and given Sri Lanka’s target of encouraging export led economic growth, Sri Lanka has much to gain from strengthening trade and investment linkages with Germany.

t Hannover Messe, the State Minister met with representatives of German Trade and Investment (GTAI), the international economic promotion agency of Germany; the Investment promotion agency of Baden-Württemberg province, home of many leading industries such as Mercedes- Benz, Bosch and Würth; and leaders of several German businesses in the fields of green hydrogen, port consultancy services, maritime services, agriculture engineering equipment and IT services.

Hannover2024 6Among the topics discussed in the meetings were strengthening bilateral trade linkages, linking with the industrial value chains of Europe, establishing connections with the Board of Investment (BOI) Sri Lanka and the exchange of business delegations. State Minister Amunugama also highlighted that Sri Lanka remains committed to international sustainability standards of green economy, strong labour rights, inclusive growth and mentioned the country’s record as one of the most ethical sourcing destinations. He explained that Sri Lanka’s apparel exports, the key export product to the EU under GSP+ facility, has earned the reputation of garments without guilt. The Minister also stated that Sri Lanka is implementing necessary reforms to ensure long-term stability of the economy.

Hannover2024 7The State Minister and the delegation also visited one of the production plants of Continental AG, a German company which in 2024 signed an agreement with BOI Sri Lanka to invest around 13 million euros over the next three years to expand their production facility in Sri Lanka, creating around 200 additional jobs. Operating since 2009, Continental is one of the largest German investors in Sri Lanka. State Minister Amunugama met with the senior management of the Continental group and appreciated the confidence they had placed in Sri Lanka as a destination for growth and sustainability. At Hannover Messe, the delegation participated in a tour of companies in the hydrogen value chain to observe the latest developments in the sector. The State Minister highlighted that Sri Lanka possesses great potential for creation of renewable energy such as green hydrogen.

Hannover2024 2The 2025 edition of Hannover Messe is scheduled to take place from 31st March to 4th April 2025. Sri Lanka’s participation at the ‘Hannover Messe 2024’ was organized by AHK Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin and Deutsche Messe AG.

The State Minister was accompanied to the ‘Hannover Messe 2024’ by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Germany Varuni Muthukumarana; Counselor of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Berlin Senuja Samaraweera; Chief Delegate of AHK Sri Lanka Marie Antonia von Schönburg and Dr. Rohan Fernando, Executive Director, Aitken Spence.

3rd May 2024, Embassy of Sri Lanka, Berlin