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May 17, 2000
'Germany ready to grant green card status to Indian IT specialists'
The German government will liberalise its policy, including granting green card status, to attract more number of information technology specialists from India and Eastern European countries, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said today.
Addressing a round table conference jointly organised by Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, or IGCC, and the Greater Mysore Chamber of Industry, or GMCI, in Bangalore, he said the German government was likely to liberalise its policy during summer session of Parliament.
Discussions were on for introducing 'green cards' for Indian IT specialists from August this year, he added.
He said Germany was keen on investing in India on infrastructure development besides power and other projects.
In his welcome address, IGCC president Udo-E Land said many German companies, representing the new and the old economies, operated here. Several delegates who were presently on tour were showing interest in investing in infrastructure projects in Karnataka, especially the proposed international airport project at Devanahalli, near Bangalore.
Fischer said Germany perceived a revival of business activities in India and expressed confidence that one could witness an era of heightened activity in Indo-German economic relations in the future. Germans were now aware that India was a country with highly educated people, comparable to the best in the world.
There is feeling in Germany that the majority of high-tech specialists are located in Bangalore and thus the delegation chose to visit Bangalore apart from New Delhi, he added.
Addressing the members of the delegation, Karnataka Minister for Large and Medium Industries R V Deshpande appealed to the German government to open a German consulate office in Bangalore and set up a Karnataka-German Commission to help German and Indian investors.
Replying to questions by delegates, he said an assistance cell would be created to assist the investors whose projects were cleared by the single-window agency.
A 20-member business delegation, headed by German Economic Affairs Director General Joachim Broudre-Groger, was currently on tour in India to assess the investment opportunities.
Fischer arrived earlier on Wednesday for his first visit to India with trade and technology, and concerns about regional security topping the agenda.
He is accompanied by a high-level business delegation. He plans to visit the technology park and meet IT engineers and chiefs of top IT firms.
On Thursday, he will meet President K R Narayanan, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh and other government officials.
The visit will launch an Indo-German dialogue for closer coordination between the two countries, a German embassy official said.
Fischer will also meet Indian Science and Education Minister Murli Manohar Joshi to "reinforce technology and scientific ties," the German embassy official said. UNI, Agencies
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