Digitisation affects our economy more than virtually any other factor. New developments in the area of 3D printing, robotics and artificial intelligence are revolutionising production processes and entire value chains. The analysis of giant quantities of data is facilitating new business models and products that are precisely tailored to customers' requirements. Digitisation is opening doors to a different world of business, employment and consumption.
CeBIT offers us a glimpse of what awaits us in this world. As a leading trade fair for information and communications technology, it gives us an overview of current trends in the industry. Start-ups are given an opportunity to showcase their creativity. Both small and medium-sized businesses and large companies impress visitors with new ideas and innovations. In so doing, they are gradually expanding the digital world. Limits to this development are not on the horizon. The slogan for this year's CeBIT, "d!conomy: no limits", speaks for itself.
The Partner Country for 2017 is Japan with its strong high-tech sector. Our two economies are linked by a long-standing tradition of manifold close business relations. CeBIT provides an excellent opportunity for intensifying contacts and sounding out further opportunities for cooperation. I would like to offer the CeBIT guests from Japan and, of course, those from all of the other countries, a warm welcome to Germany. Permit me to wish you all a successful, informative and beneficial trade fair.
(sgd) Angela Merkel