German chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Germany needs to be more open towards skilled professionals coming to live and work in the country.
Speaking at the second annual demographics summit in Berlin earlier this week, Merkel said: “Our reputation is bad: we are regarded as closed. We are viewed as a very complicated place to come to. Germany should present itself as an open country that welcomes professionals.”
While recent statistics show that immigration to Germany is increasing, Merkel believes that more still needs to be done to encourage foreign skilled workers into the country in order to counter a rapidly ageing population – echoing a warning given by the Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development earlier this year. It is estimated that approximately 6 million German workers will retire by 2025.
“Every age counts,” Merkel continued. “Germany should definitely open up more towards immigration. We are a European internal market, and we will certainly need to develop much more mobility in the labour market.”
The Chancellor also stated that more needs to be done to keep younger, working-age Germans in the country.