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Hannover message stresses the importance of optimism

22 April 2009

Max Frisch, the Swiss architect, playwright and novelist, observed that a crisis is a productive situation. You simply have to avoid any taint of disaster. The World is currently being gripped by a dramatic financial turmoil and a crisis of confidence, coupled with a massive economic slowdown. But according to Dr Manfred Wittenstein, President of the Federation of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), there is no reason to feel despondent.

Industry optimistic at Hannover 2009
Industry optimistic at Hannover 2009

In his address at the Opening Ceremony for this year’s Hannover Messe, Wittenstein suggested that in his role as a businessman and as a representative of an industry that is accustomed to cyclical upswings and downswings, he would emphasise that optimism is an absolute must in these difficult economic climate. At this year’s fair, industry had the chance to demonstrate its productivity, strengths and creativity.

Germany’s industry leads the world in 18 out of 30 sectors on show at Hannover and is the number two in a further seven sectors. During the last upswing Germany created 120,000 new jobs, underlining the enormous potential of the country’s mechanical engineering business sector.

But in times like these, growth does not continue indefinitely. Germany will have to cope with a massive downturn. On the bright side, however, the capital goods industry is well placed internationally in terms of technology and competitiveness. The flexibility of the individual production plants and their ability to handle fluctuating order volumes is a decisive advantage.

The optimistic message from the Messe suggests that Germany’s industry is ideally equipped to return to the long-term growth track.

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