In a major sop to Indian workers, the German city of Cologne has decided to offer work permit within four weeks to those who have a job offer in the city.
Conveying this, the Lord Mayor of the city of Cologne Fritz Schramma told Minister of State for Industry Ashwani Kumar that a German work permit in favour of Indian companies and their employees and other Indians having an offer of employment in Cologne, shall be issued within four weeks of their application.
Mayor Schramma is on a nine-day visit to Indian cities - Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore - to present Cologne as a top business location in Europe and to attract the attention of Indian businessmen to his city.
Schramma invited Indian IT and Bio-tech firms to Cologne and said they could also help in developing greater linkages with small and medium enterprises in India.
He suggested Indian private airlines operating on international routes to consider Cologne as a base for their operation in Europe, it added.
Two-way trade between India and Germany during April-October 2006, registered a growth of over 35 per cent as compared to the same period last year. Bilateral trade between the two countries during 2005-06 crossed 7.5 billion Euros, registering an increase of 22 per cent over 2004-05.
Germany has become the sixth largest investor in India with a cumulative investment of 1.58 billion dollars, indicating a substantial increase in FDI from Germany. In the first quarter of 2006, approved investment from Germany in India has increased to 211 million Euros as compared to 72 million Euros in 2005 and 160 million Euros in 2004.
Companies such as Siemens and Bosch plan to expand their existing capacities in the country. Siemens has plans to invest 600 million Euros in the next three to four years. It has bagged orders to modernise the hot rolling plant at the Bokaro Steel Plant and to build a power plant for the Torrent Group, the release added.
Siemens India has also received an order from the Bangalore International Airport for equipping the planned airport with a technical system. Companies like SAP AG and BMW would expand their business interests in India. BMW's investment in its Chennai plant is expected to generate massive employment, it said.