Matthias Machnig, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, met today in Tokyo with Takayuki Ueda, Japanese Vice-Minister in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The talks focused on digitisation.
State Secretary Machnig said: "If we are to remain globally competitive, we need international cooperation, because industrial value chains do not end at national borders. The agreement we have made today in the field of Industrie 4.0 aims to support cooperation between our companies and foster closer cooperation at international level on issues like process standardisation. An important contribution towards this will be made by the respective initiatives of the two sides, the German "Plattform Industrie 4.0" and the Japanese Robot Revolution Initiative."
Vice-Minister Ueda said: "Technical innovations in the field of big data, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) are having a considerable impact on what have become digitised societies. Not only do they result in better productivity: they will also play a key role in future structural changes in society. Like Japan, Germany is an industrialised country, in which the manufacturing sector accounts for roughly 20% of GDP. Our industries are facing common challenges like rising energy costs and a skills shortage. Compared with other countries, Germany was very quick to launch its initiative for a joint framework of the Federal Government and industry to promote the use of the IoT in the manufacturing sector. This led to a discussion during our economic policy consultations in February 2015, and as a result our ministries started to explore the possibilities for cooperation on the IoT. When Chancellor Merkel visited Japan the following month, she agreed with Japan's Prime Minister that we should develop our cooperation on the IoT. We are delighted that, as a specific outcome of this agreement, it was possible to sign a joint declaration today."
The meeting took place during the 17th German-Japanese economic consultations in the run-up to the G7 ICT ministers' meeting. Interested technology-oriented companies from Japan are invited to continue the dialogue on forward-looking topics with Minister Sigmar Gabriel and high-level German business representatives at the Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business (APK) in Hong Kong from 3 to 5 November 2016.
In 2015, bilateral trade between Germany and Japan totalled around 37 billion euros. In this period, Germany imported goods worth about 20 billion euros from Japan and exported products worth around 17 billion euros to Japan. The main imports and exports continue to be electronics, machinery, chemical products and vehicles and vehicle parts.
Contact for information about the investors' programme at the conference:
Ms Julia HOEFLING (speaks English)
German Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong
Tel.: +852 2532 1222 (Direct Line)
Fax: +852 2810 6093