Germany, Netherlands sign agreement to boost innovation

BERLIN, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Germany and the Netherlands have signed an agreement on strengthening their collaboration in the field of innovation "in important fields of the future," Germany's Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) said on Thursday.

The two countries commit to work "even closer together" and with the other member states of the European Union (EU) "to tackle the major economic policy challenges."

The signatories will promote innovations in the fields of Industry 4.0 (also known as the fourth industrial revolution), carbon emission reduction in industry, the economic policy aspects of mobility, the healthcare industry and key technologies, according to the BMWi.

"Only through innovation will we lead the digital and ecological transformation of our economy to success," said Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier in a statement.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed that a "strong, competitive economy" was needed for a comprehensive and sustainable recovery in the EU, the agreement noted.

A strong and innovative industry is also an important prerequisite for the EU to face future challenges in the world, such as climate protection and digitization, with its own technologies and concepts on a par with those of China and the United States, according to the agreement.

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