Chancellor Olaf Scholz, wrapping up a two-day visit to India, urged the country’s IT specialists and other skilled workers to consider working in Germany.
Looking for ways to tackle labor shortages in Europe’s largest economy, Scholz said his coalition government was planning to reduce immigration hurdles and introduce a point-based system that would grant visas even to specialists who don’t yet have a firm job offer in hand.
He offered no specifics on how many workers Germany hopes to attract from India.
“I am quite sure that many will want to take advantage of the opportunities to work as skilled workers in Germany,” Scholz told reporters during a visit at software company SAP Labs India in Bangalore, where he held a roundtable discussion with workers.
“We need this in all areas of employment, but of course especially when it comes to skills such as those we have seen today in the area of software and IT development,” Scholz said.
The German leader’s trip to India was aimed at deepening economic ties as well as discussing Russia’s war in Ukraine with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who’ll host the next leaders summit of the Group of 20 nations in September.
Scholz, who traveled with a large business delegation, said Saturday he would personally make an effort to advance talks between the EU and India for a trade and investment agreement.
Modi and Scholz also discussed closer defense cooperation, including a possible joint venture to build six submarines in India to help the Asian nation modernize its maritime forces.
During his meeting with workers at the SAP Labs, Scholz said he was “determined” to reduce bureaucratic hurdles to immigration for skilled workers, and “make it easier to come to Germany as a specialist, including with your own family.”
Scholz said he wants to “establish a new system that allows people to apply for a visa to Germany who still have not signed a specific job contract, but who come with a lot of talent and skills, and then find a job in Germany.”
The coalition government is putting the finishing touches on a draft law to ease immigration barriers, Scholz said. The new system is planned to work on a points basis, comparable to those in countries such as Canada.
A command of the German language would be an advantage, he added.
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