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Leading European politician to open EIBTM 2002

Mr. Hans-Dietrich Genscher, one of Europe and Germany's most forthright and well respected politicians on the world 'stage', is to…

Mr. Hans-Dietrich Genscher, one of Europe and Germany's most forthright and well respected politicians on the world 'stage', is to officially open EIBTM<.> 2002 at 11.00 am at Palexpo, Geneva on Tuesday 21 May.

He was longest serving Minister of Foreign Affairs (in Germany) of the western world in the 20th century.

"The opening ceremony will provide an important and defining moment", said Exhibition Director, Debbie Jackson.

"It will not only underline the start of the world's leading industry event of its kind, but also act as a valuable insight into major business opportunities in a new and different kind of Europe."

"Much has changed for everyone in the past year, but the signs are clear that in the second half of 2002, we will be back on course. We want EIBTM to act as a practical and constructive international forum, helping and encouraging the industry to drive forward for sustained growth at a time when it is most needed. Creating jobs, increasing profits, delivering targets and helping to promote an important step-change industry that often does not receive its rightful profile and awareness worldwide.

"It was with this in mind that we invited Mr. Genscher to be our Guest of Honour and we are extremely fortunate to have his presence on the opening day at EIBTM.

"He is an internationally respected and renowned politician, in constant demand as a keynote speaker and a member of numerous influential political and economic

summits throughout the world.

"His opinions are invaluable for any business operating in the meetings and incentive industry."

Government ministers, politicians, heads of leading industry companies and organisations as well as other VIP's such as the heads of the main industry associations will be invited to attend the prestigious opening. However, Ms. Jackson emphasised that the newly designed and improved EIBTM stage will be situated in the exhibition halls to ensure that both exhibitors and visitors have an equal opportunity to hear Mr. Genscher's keynote speech about Europe in the 21st century.

Mr. Genscher is known as the architect of German reunification and is the author of a number of books published in Germany and the US.

In addition to being Germany's Minister of Foreign Affairs, he served as Germany's Deputy Chancellor for 18 years. He continues to preside over several wellknown institutions and is Honorary Professor at The Freie Universitat in Berlin and Peking University. He is also Honorary Senator of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina at Halle at Saale.

During his long career, Mr. Genscher has been the recipient of many international honours and awards. He is, for instance, an honorary citizen

of the State of Costa Rica and has been awarded doctorates at many Universities, including: Budapest, Durham, Essex, Georgetown, Maryland, Moscow, Salamanca and Seoul.