Scholz in favour of deepening relations

New Delhi (dpa) – During a two-day state visit to India, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has promoted deeper relations. Among other things, he voiced support for significantly expanding the immigration of skilled workers from India, especially from the IT sector. “Our intention is to simplify the way visas are issued,” Scholz said during a visit to Bengaluru, a tech metropolis in southern India.

The plan is to make it easier for example for skilled professionals who are in demand in Germany to come to the country with their families, said Scholz. This is also to be possible initially without a concrete job offer. By its own account, the German Embassy in New Delhi issued a visa to around 2,500 to 3,000 skilled workers last year, above all to IT specialists. A considerable increase in the number of visas granted is expected this year.

Furthermore, Scholz wants to accelerate negotiations on a free trade agreement between the EU and India. “I am in favour of generating more pressure now, of developing a strong will,” he said following talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. The EU and India have been trying to agree on a free trade deal for years. Germany and India also intend to expand their cooperation in the field of armaments. Scholz said that the “quality of German technology” in this area was highly valued by the Indian partners.

A central topic during the state visit was also the Russian attack on Ukraine. After talking to Modi, Scholz stressed the importance of the UN resolutions that repeatedly condemn the war. India has not agreed to any of these resolutions, and instead has always abstained.

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