"The Hannover fair is the biggest industrial and technological fair in the world, it is a kind of showcase, a 'showroom' for world technologies, new trends, products and companies."
Portugal’s economy minister, António Costa Silva, told Lusa on Wednesday that the Hannover Messe’22 fair “is a great opportunity for Portugal to be projected” and hoped that it would “further boost” in attracting investment.
Hannover Messe’22 takes place in Germany between May 30 and June 2 and will be inaugurated by German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Portuguese prime minister António Costa.
“The Hannover fair is the biggest industrial and technological fair in the world, it is a kind of showcase, a ‘showroom’ for world technologies, new trends, products and companies,” stressed the minister of the economy.
As a showcase for everything that is done, “especially in industry,” this fair is “extremely important” for Portugal, the minister said.
“We are going to take around 110 Portuguese companies to Hanover and promote sectors that we believe are very important for future industrial development: metalworking, capital goods, the entire automotive sector, mobility, renewable energy,” as well as “plastics” and “moulds”, António Costa Silva said.
“These are sectors that seem extremely interesting to us”, that “are in development, with technological innovation and can make a difference”, the minister added.
The fair “will have three major themes: everything that is engineering and engineering products, the digital part and the renewable energies part. I think we can have a good fair and give companies every chance to build alliances and attract investors,” the minister said.
This year’s edition of Hannover Messe is “in hybrid format, but there will also be a large presence of multiple entities, mainly German, but they attract people from all over the world”, from countries such as “South Korea, Mexico” and others that were partners of the Hannover fair.
Portugal is this year’s partner country, so attention should be focused on the Portuguese market in addition to Germany.
“We think that a set of opportunities will be leveraged from there, therefore, the expectation is that all these sectors may present themselves, may build their network of relations, their ‘network’, that they may have German partners, have investors, it is a galaxy of players that will be there and I think it is a great opportunity for Portugal to be projected”, reinforced António Costa Silva.
Despite inflation and scarcity of raw materials, the minister pointed out that “the industrial production index this past month rose and, therefore, many companies have orders.
Costa Silva said that he had visited some companies in the north of Portugal and that “there are some good prospects”.
This “despite the difficulties, energy costs, production costs and, above all, the lack of raw materials,” as “we have had a rupture in global supply chains and until that is repositioned it will be a little difficult,” he said.
However, “what is extraordinary in the Portuguese economy is that many of these sectors that are responding, and responding well, are maintaining their links with clients, their order books and I hope that Hannover consolidates and amplifies this effect,” he added.
António Costa Silva will attend the Hanover fair and will be there for “two or three days,” in contact with companies and with German investors and companies to try to do what he called “cross-fertilisation” and try to make it “a good platform” to exhibit Portuguese companies and their products.
The minister said that Portugal has received “great support” from German entities, both from the embassy here, and from journalists from the organisation of the fair itself, in contact with the Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade (AICEP), which is coordinating the initiative, and the involvement of Portuguese companies themselves.
“Now there will be promotion [of the fair] during three major events that will be chaired” by António Costa, the first begins on 13 May, then there is another on the 18th and ends on the 24th.
Friday’s meeting takes place in Braga and brings together 42 companies (20 from Porto, 20 from Braga, one from Guarda and one from Bragança), while the second, in Aveiro, brings together representatives from 39 companies (35 from Aveiro, two from Coimbra and two from Viseu)
The last meeting, on 24 May, will take place in Sintra and brings together 28 companies (17 from Lisbon, nine from Leiria, one from Santarém and one from Setúbal).
With these ‘On the way to Hannover’ sessions, the Government intends to listen to the businessmen and highlight the importance of the Portuguese presence at Hannover Messe’22.
“We think that this will also be an important event to attract attention” to ‘On the way to Hannover’ and “mobilise all these sectors to be present”, underlined the minister, stressing that Portugal has companies that compare well with their competitors.
“We have companies that are exactly at the forefront of competitiveness,” he said, pointing out that “in many business sectors” attending the fair there has been a “kind of reconfiguration and reinvention of their manufacturing and production processes, with the application of digitalisation, of robotisation, including segments of the value chain that are already robotised,” which increases efficiency and scale.
Then, “with electronic platforms today, if we have good products, we can reach everywhere”, he concluded.
In addition to digitalisation, engineering and renewable energies, the minister highlighted a fourth area that has to do with automation, augmented reality and virtual reality.
On expectations, the minister expects that there will be companies making contracts and partnerships in Hanover.
Therefore, “some of our companies that are there and make products and provide interesting services, which seem quite competitive to me, may result in contracts and attract investors and alliances,” he considered.
António Costa Silva expects the economy to recover, with the exit from “a bit of the pandemic crisis”, despite the “effects of the war” in Ukraine.
“There are important indicators of the Portuguese economy that make us believe that it is possible,” he said, adding that “investment is working very well”.
This is because “in the first two months of this year we achieved, in terms of foreign direct investment, the net balance [of] €2.2 billion, about a third that we had in 2021, where we broke all records”.
Therefore, “I hope that Hannover will also further boost this investment attraction and create opportunities for the future,” António Costa Silva remarked.
Portugal, under the motto ‘Portugal Makes Sense’, will be represented by 109 companies operating in the areas of engineering parts & solutions, energy solutions and digital ecosystems, focusing on the sectors of equipment and metalworking, mobility, automotive and aeronautics, automation and robotics, textiles and technical plastics, moulds, production technologies and renewable energies.