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

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

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

State Minister Amunugama’s visit to Hannover Messe focused on creating awareness in Germany about investing in Sri Lanka, exploring opportunities for Sri Lankan businesses, and strengthening economic relations with Germany. Mr. Michael Rose, Head of Protocol, and Mr. Andrej Gross, Director-Public Affairs East Germany and Berlin of Deutsche Messe, the organizer of Hannover Messe, welcomed State Minister Amunugama and the delegation to ‘Hannover Messe 2024’.

The Hannover Messe highlights cross-industry solutions and interface technologies for the entire industrial ecosystem. This annual trade fair is an important venue for businesses from across the world to learn about important innovations that drive industrial competitiveness and sustainability. 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. From April 22–26, 2024, Hannover Messe hosted more than 130,000 visitors from 150 countries, 4,000 exhibiting companies, 300 start-ups, and over 300 economic and political delegations from around the world.

Ms. Marie Antonia von Schönburg, Chief Delegate of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (AHK) in Sri Lanka, extended an invitation for State Minister Amunugama to participate in the Hannover Messe 2024. Ms. Schönburg moderated the State Minister’s keynote speech on “Sri Lanka’s path to attract investments” at the Asia-Pacific Forum of the Hannover Messe. The Minister highlighted opportunities for investment in Sri Lanka, including 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 business linkages with Germany.

The State Minister also met with representatives of German Trade and Investment (GTAI), Germany’s international economic promotion agency; Baden-Württemberg province’s investment promotion agency, home to 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. The meetings discussed strengthening bilateral trade linkages, linking with Europe’s industrial value chains, establishing connections with Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BOI), and exchanging business delegations.

During meetings with German trade associations and businesses, State Minister Amunugama highlighted that Sri Lanka remains committed to international sustainability standards of a green economy, strong labor rights, and inclusive growth, and mentioned the country’s record as one of the most ethical sourcing destinations. He added that Sri Lanka’s key product to the EU under GSP+, apparel, has earned the reputation of garments without guilt. The Minister also stated that Sri Lanka is implementing necessary reforms to ensure the long-term stability of the economy. The delegation also participated in a tour of companies in the hydrogen value chain to observe the latest developments in the sector. The State Minister highlighted Sri Lanka’s great potential for renewable energy, such as green hydrogen.

The State Minister and the delegation also visited one of the production plants of M/s. Continental AG, a German company that recently signed agreements 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 Continental Group’s senior management and appreciated their confidence in Sri Lanka as a growth and sustainability destination.

The dates for the 2025 edition of Hannover Messe are March 31st to April 4th, 2025.

AHK Sri Lanka, in partnership with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin and Deutsche Messe AG, organized Sri Lanka’s participation at the ‘Hannover Messe 2024’.

Varuni Muthukumarana, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Germany, Senuja Samaraweera, Counselor of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Berlin, Ms. Schönburg, and Dr. Rohan Fernando, Executive Director of Aitken Spence, accompanied the State Minister to the ‘Hannover Messe 2024’.

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