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Obama will visit Germany in April to boost trade ties

US President Barack Obama will visit Germany in late April to attend the world's largest industrial technology trade fair and meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Advancing trans-Atlantic trade talks are on the agenda.

Obama will attend the Hannover Messe, the world's largest industrial technology trade fair, to highlight US business and investment opportunities, the White House said Wednesday.

"The president's participation - a first for a sitting US president - presents a unique opportunity to showcase American innovation and ingenuity and to highlight the United States as a prime investment destination," the White House said in a statement.

Obama will also meet with Merkel, a close US ally, to discuss advancing US-European talks on a trans-Atlantic free trade and investment pact, or TTIP.

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The pros and cons of TTIP

"While in Germany, the President will address efforts to advance negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership," the White House said.

TTIP faces some opposition from both sides of the Atlantic, but if agreed would make the world's largest free trade and investment zone and significantly pull down some bureaucratic barriers and regulations.

TTIP, alongside securing final approval for a 13-nation Pacific trade pact negotiated this year, is among major goals of Obama's last year in office.

The visit will be Obama's fifth to Germany and the likely the last as he enters his final year in office.

cw/jil (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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