Refugee wave into Germany offers chance to boost nation’s productivity, says OECD

By on 06/04/2016 | Updated on 24/09/2020
Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD

The recent wave of refugees into Germany represents an opportunity to increase productivity in the country, but only if the new arrivals are integrated properly, the OECD’s secretary general Angel Gurría has said.

Presenting the latest OECD economic survey of Germany yesterday, Gurría warned that Germany must ensure the successful integration of refugees, adding that “these population inflows are an opportunity to counter demographic trends and lay the basis for a more diversified and productive economy.”

The Survey says that effective integration policies for the newly arrived immigrants will be critical for Germany to improve economic outcomes and ensure social cohesion, and argues that this requires up-front spending on training and language skills.

Giving access to the labour market more quickly to all refugees who are likely to stay and boosting active labour market programmes will also be necessary, according to the report.

Gurría said that “despite the turbulence in the world economy, the German economy remains robust, with strong export performance and low unemployment” and urged the government to “use its position of strength to prepare for the future.”

While the survey highlights Germany’s robust recovery and high levels of competitiveness since the global economic crisis, it also points out the wide range of challenges facing the country as it seeks to strengthen productivity, boost well-being in a rapidly ageing society and ensure the integration of newly-arrived migrants.

More investment will be key to raise productivity and living standards, according to the survey.

The survey also notes that fostering investment in knowledge-based capital and unleashing the potential of key services would strengthen the competitiveness of manufacturing and calls on Germany to boost investment in key education, employees’ lifelong skills development, social services as well as poor municipalities.

These measures, the report argues, would enhance inclusive growth.


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See also:

Managing the EU Migration Crisis

OECD calls on Poland to introduce ‘cooling-off’ periods for senior officials

Germany announces $299bn infrastructure investment

UK government departments to face further cuts, chancellor reveals in budget

New coordinating unit to meet Greek migrant health challenge

India’s banking scheme draws in 200m new customers

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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