angela merkel.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ/ lsd

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday called for Europe to step up its drive for the digitization of the region's economy when she visited the world's largest computer and IT trade fair Cebit in the German city of Hanover.

"Time is short," the chancellor said after making her traditional tour of the technology fair where the digitalization of the global economy and business have emerged as the focal point of the annual event.

About 3,300 companies from 70 countries are exhibiting their wares at the five–day trade fair. Switzerland is the partner country for this year Cebit.

More than 350 startups are also represented at the fair.

The motto for this trade fair is D!conomy with exhibitors displaying products that help hospitals to communicate with their patients through to 3D printers as well as an app to assist the blind do their shopping.

Over the last 16 years organizers of the trade fair have also mounted Cebit events in other part of the world, including Australia, China, Turkey, the United States and India.

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