President Vladimir Putin:
Dear Mr Federal Chancellor, ladies and gentlemen.
Today at one of the most important trade fairs in the world, we are opening the Russian exhibition. Russia is a long-standing participant of the Hannover fair, which is an acknowledged and authoritative trade forum. But this year Russia has special status. We gladly accepted the invitation of our German friends to come here as a main partner country. We see this as another acknowledgement of the high capabilities and level of Russian industry, technology and science.
Russia truly has something to offer its business partners – primarily, joint investment projects, industrial cooperation, and cooperation in developing innovative technology. Just yesterday our hosts here, in Hannover, noted that the Russian exhibitions take up an enormous area, almost 7,000 square metres, and the achievements of 136 firms and companies from Russia are represented there.
Which industries dominate? Energy, aircraft construction, rocket construction, ship construction and optic electronics.
I expect that the Russian exhibition will serve as an effective forum for establishing direct contacts, signing new contracts, and useful business ties.
In conclusion I would like to thank all the German colleagues and our Russian participants for their work in organising this exhibition, and the Russian section of this exhibition, for interesting and very useful work.
Gerhard Schroeder: Dear Mr President, ladies and gentlemen.
I would like to start by complementing the people who organised this exhibition, especially the Russian section. If you look at the exhibition area here from the podium, it becomes clear what thoroughness and knowledge the Russian organisers put in to organising this work.
I have already had the opportunity today to talk with Mr President about our close economic and political ties. And today, when we are here at this exhibition, it becomes clear how close these contacts are. Because, I believe, we can see here clear proof of what a reliable partner Russia is, not just in supplying energy resources, but in the high technology sphere.
If we are talking of bilateral trade, then in recent years unusual growth has been seen, over 20%. This is to the benefit of both our countries and the peoples of our countries. And this situation will become even better, because Russia is preparing to join the World Trade Organisation, and the conditions for conducting trade will improve.
We politicians must create framework conditions for trade and for economic relations. I believe that we have already done this. Now it is time to make economic use of these favourable conditions. I think that Germany is prepared for further development of partnership in all areas of the economy. And the fact that we have already reached such a high level is not lastly due to the efforts of the Eastern committee of the German economy, and its chairman Mr Mangold. In ten years, we will make a review once more, and it will become clear that these were only intermediary stages and immediate results, and that we have a great deal ahead of us.
I want to wish all the participants success this year at the Hannover fair.