Greeting from the Federal President
Message for the Asia-Pacific Week Berlin 2019
in Berlin, 13 to 19 May 2019
I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone attending the Asia-Pacific Week (APW)
2019 in Berlin. Since 1997, the APW has been the most important platform in Germany for
dialogue and cooperation with Asian partners from the spheres of business, culture, academia
and politics. Berlin is a good location for the Asia-Pacific Week. For the German capital
epitomises cosmopolitan attitudes, creativity and a new entrepreneurial spirit. It has shown the
courage to embrace change.
Innovation and intensified cooperation among start-ups, the theme of this year’s meeting, is an
apt focus. Digital transformation, which is already taking place in the shape of Industrie 4.0,
Society 5.0, robotics and artificial intelligence, is at the forefront here. This transformation will
have a growing impact on economies and societies around the world. Besides the many
promising developments from which we will all benefit, innovations inevitably also raise
questions for which we have to find answers. We – Asia and Europe – will have to draw up the
rules for the digital age together. We have a shared responsibility to draft and put into practice
a code of ethics for the digital transformation. It is therefore splendid that you are focusing on
I am convinced that the Asia Pacific Week will be a great success again this year – and an
inspiration to you and to us all.
– Frank Walter Steinmeier
Please find the German version with the President’s letter.