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Bayern in der Welt

Greetings to the 8th Regional Leaders’ Summit

Staatsministerin für Europaangelegenheiten und regionale Beziehungen Dr. Beate Merkvergrößern

Distinguished guests,

On 14 and 15 July 2016, the Eighth Regional Leaders’ Summit will convene in Munich. It is my pleasure and honor to welcome the regional leaders of our six partner regions Georgia, Québec, São Paulo, Shandong, Upper Austria, and Western Cape in the Munich Residenz.

Since 2002, the regional leaders of the partner regions meet every two years to expand and deepen the political, economic, and cultural ties between our regions. The successful cooperation enables us to react to the challenges of globalization in a sustainable and proactive way. Over the past years, numerous forms of cooperation have been initiated. They have contributed to the globally leading role which our regions play in economy and science.

The Minister-President and I would like to use this year’s Summit and its focal topic “Digitalization and Innovation” to give the cooperation fresh momentum. The regional leaders will, for the first time, have “inner-circle dialogs” with high-level business representatives. Also, assisted by the Bavarian Research Alliance (BayFOR), we have initiated collaborative projects in which scientists from all seven partner regions work together on issues of future relevance. The current status of the projects will be presented during the Summit. At the “Future Leaders’ Conference” from 12 to 14 July 2016 in Munich, youths from all partner regions will come together to develop a joint vision of life and learning in 2040. The youths will then present their innovative ideas to the regional leaders at the Summit.

Worldwide, Bavaria enjoys an excellent reputation. But we are also aware that solutions to global challenges can only be found with strong partners across the world. In this context, I see the Regional Leaders’ Summit as a platform for communication and information as well as a source of inspiration to break new ground.

I wish all participants fruitful and stimulating discussions during the Eighth Regional Leaders’ Summit in Munich!

Yours faithfully,

Beate Merk