The Business Forum on Digital Innovation, IT and Communications Technology was held in the Federal Foreign Office on Friday (30 September) in cooperation with the digital association bitkom. Guests from business and politics came together with those involved in promoting foreign trade to discuss current trends in the field of IT and the networking of the digital industry with traditional business sectors.
ICT: “Industrie 4.0” meets the “old economy”
At a time of digital change, the ICT sector is crucial for Germany as an export nation: in building “Industrie 4.0” all business sectors are dependent on digital expertise if the transformation of the “old economy”, that is traditional business sectors, is to succeed. gelingt.
This means that for German companies and developers, successful internationalisation and rapid growth to achieve global relevance are more important today than ever before. The Federal Foreign Office has a special role to play here. Diplomats are expected to support German firms as they enter international markets. To make sure they are able to do so, the Federal Foreign Office is continually seeking dialogue with the business world.
Furthermore, together with the Federal Economic Affairs Ministry and all partners involved in promoting foreign trade, the Federal Foreign Office is to provide even closer and more intensive backing for these urgently needed processes of internationalisation, for example by staging Business Forums.
Regional focus: Mexico and Argentina
Various topics were to the fore at this year’s Business Forum: international experts, data protection and digital industry hubs to name but a few.
In regional terms, the spotlight was on Latin America, in particular Mexico and Argentina. Digital change plays an important role in both countries, as Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was able to see this for himself this year when he visited the region. Particularly in Mexico, the start-up scene is booming and, what is more, Germany is Mexico’s most important trading partner in the EU. Also in the future, there will be scope for cooperation here.