Germany has been chosen as the partner country for the 19th annual music trade fair Popkomm, which will be held in Berlin from Sept. 19-21.

"Young bands know that Popkomm is a useful platform for getting known outside their own countries and for helping them to establish an international reputation," Popkomm organizers said in a statement. "In 2007 attention will be focusing on Germany. The aim is to present German talent to the international music world and to promote exports."

The decision is part of a private-public music initiative between the music industry and those responsible for cultural policy. The "Initiative Musik", which is in the process of being established in Germany, will make available this year €1 million ($1.35 million) to boost the presence of German productions abroad, and to give new talent opportunities to find their audience.

Culture minister Bernd Neumann will be attending Popkomm to launch the project of the German music industry.

"Many of our European neighbours have already recognized the importance of the creative sector as an economic factor and have taken the appropriate action, with some success," commented Neumann in a statement.

"Investments in this field are an investment in the future. Support for music as a component of the creative sector points the way forward for Germany as a business location. Acting as the partner country of Popkomm will enable us to stimulate greater international interest in German music."

The 2006 edition of Popkomm, which featured Brazil as partner country, gathered 15,311 registered delegates, up from 15,108 the previous year.