In a mood of mutual understanding and esteem, as well as humor, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Indonesian President H.E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono opened ITB Berlin 2013 at the event held on the evening preceding the start of the show. Live streaming enabled the public to watch the politicians arrive at the ICC Berlin. Their host, Raimund Hosch, expressed his delight about the twofold premiere taking place at the world’s leading travel trade show. This long-distance destination, one of the most reliable partners of ITB, is already very popular with Germany visitors, not least because of its reputation for friendliness, warmth and helpfulness, and his company, the trade show’s organizer, has been focusing its attention on Indonesia for some considerable time.
Following the invitation extended to the country’s head of state by the Federal Chancellor during her visit in June 2012, “we didn’t need to do much more,” admitted Hosch during his opening speech. Now participating in this trade show for the 45th year, Indonesia is the official partner country of ITB Berlin. Hosch was congratulated on his choice of partner by the Federal Chancellor, who was opening the travel trade show for the first time: “ITB Berlin can justifiably be described as a leader among trade shows.” The comparison that she drew was that “Around the world in 80 days is a thing of the past, and it can be done now in 80 minutes at ITB Berlin.”
Angela Merkel is already acquainted with the world’s largest archipelago, having paid a visit when she was minister of the environment. Speaking now as the Chancellor, she commended Indonesia for its dedication to the sustainable development of the natural resources and culture of this multi-ethnic state as a means of overcoming the 2008/2009 financial crisis. “Indonesia has focused attention on the fact that the peaceful co-existence of different cultures and religions is of major strategic importance.” Working together as partners, Germany in Europe and Indonesia in Asia, are fulfilling similar roles, and both attach great importance to their strong alliances, as Merkel pointed out, drawing attention to the Jakarta Declaration. In this, both partners, which are also firmly committed members of the G20, are focusing on wide-ranging collaboration.
As the next stage the Chancellor is keen to see the signing of a free trade agreement with Indonesia in order to create a firm economic base among Asian nations, thereby establishing a reliable framework of conditions. The country is regarded as a leading destination for foreign investors. By 2014 its President, H.E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is looking forward to achieving a significant milestone, when the visitor total is expected to pass ten million. His appeal to “the friends at ITB Berlin”: “You can help us to attain this objective.”
Opening Ceremony best moments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtkGB_VLUnk
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