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Hannover, Germany. Global Business & Markets attracts participants primarily from SMEs but also from major industrial firms and economic and political organizations, so it serves as a Davos for SMEs by fostering continuous communication between government and industry. Attendees evaluate export markets, develop global networks, discuss industrial policy, promote foreign direct investment, and finalize trade agreements.

The patrons of Global Business & Markets in 2016 are Elżbieta Bieńkowska, EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs; Sigmar Gabriel, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy; Stephan Weil, Premier of the German State of Lower Saxony; and Ulrich Grillo, President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI).

Issues such as Industrie 4.0 and the transition to renewable energy, which are just as important in other countries as they are in Germany, stand at the top of the agenda at Global Business & Markets. As a result exhibitors at Global Business & Markets – including past partner countries such as China, India, the Netherlands, and Russia – benefit from the global appeal of HANNOVER MESSE’s neighboring trade fairs. In 2016 the China International Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) is for the first time showcasing prime industrial locations and high-tech projects in the People’s Republic as well as promoting bilateral investments. In addition, major Chinese industrial hubs such as Tianjin and Foshan are staking their claim as attractive places for foreign businesses to establish themselves.

India is once again promoting its "Make in India" campaign. Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, will attend his country’s "Knowledge Day" on 25 April. Russia’s industrial centers, including Moscow, will continue their dialogue with Europe, while Poland will stress its role as a key market in Eastern Europe. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is looking to attract new business, and for the first time the country’s economics minister, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, will lead a business delegation to Hannover. Meanwhile the Tenth German-Japanese Business Forum tackles the topic "Industrie 4.0 in the Field".

UNIDO, the UN organization for industrial development, will also participate in Global Business & Markets. Its goal: to promote UN plans for sustainable industrial development. "We are pleased to bring our member nations and developing countries to HANNOVER MESSE, where they will present themselves and meet new partners and technology providers," says UNIDO spokesman Mikhail Estafyev.

Investment Lounge: Globally networked partners with comprehensive services

The Investment Lounge serves as the first stop for visitors to Global Business & Markets. Service providers there answer questions about everything from financing, research grants and relocation to infrastructure, incubators and venture capital. Official 2016 sponsors are Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), Germany’s national economic development agency; the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), the umbrella organization for German chambers of commerce abroad; the trust company InterGest, which helps SMEs establish and grow their presence in foreign markets; and for the first time Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the USA’s largest bank.

Dr. Benno Bunse, senior director of GTAI, notes, "As a long-time partner, we are pleased to again play our part in 2016 and stage a number of events at the world’s leading industrial show. Global Business & Markets is the ideal place to meet German and foreign businesses and tell them about our services."

Dr. Volker Treier, deputy CEO at DIHK, adds, "After the successful launch in 2015, there was no doubt that we would return to Global Business & Markets. The combination of businesses that are interested in establishing a foreign presence on the one hand, and the local expertise and market knowledge of our chambers of commerce abroad on the other, makes the show a valuable opportunity for both sides. We expect to advise many SMEs about their international business plans and prospects."

Peter Anterist, managing director of InterGest Worldwide, says, "For us as a global service provider, Global Business & Markets is a great place to meet with industry. Our partners come from all over the world to offer their expertise. The North American market is particularly popular." With its new partner "Senat der Wirtschaft", Intergest has expanded its service portfolio for SMEs.

"Bank of America Merrill Lynch is proud to sponsor the Investment Lounge at Global Business & Markets at HANNOVER MESSE 2016. This is a perfect opportunity to bring together and connect U.S. and European companies in times when digitalization pressures are mounting," says Armin von Falkenhayn, Country Executive Germany, Head of Corporate & Investment Banking Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.