Top-level talks with German industry and business in Munich

Chancellor discusses EU strategy for technological transformation

Developing infrastructure, the digital compact for schools and rising research spending – the German government is bringing political conditions into line with the imperatives of technological transformation, declared Chancellor Angela Merkel in Munich. A European strategy on artificial intelligence is needed, she said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel visits the Munich international trade fair for craft trades.

Digitalisation in the skilled crafts sector - Chancellor Angela Merkel visits the Munich international trade fair for craft trades

Photo: Bundesregierung/Bergmann

The German government aims to change the political framework in order to respond to the major challenges facing industry and business, said Chancellor Angela Merkel. Examples include the auctioning of 5G licenses within the coming weeks, developing infrastructure and the digital compact for schools now adopted by the second chamber of the German parliament, the Bundesrat, she said at a top-level meeting with German industry and business in Munich.

European strategy on artificial intelligence

In some areas of digitalisation, however, national efforts are no longer enough. When the European Council meets this week, the Chancellor thus aims to urge member states to cooperate more closely on developing artificial intelligence. "We need a European strategy," said Angela Merkel in Munich. Cooperation with France is particularly important.

Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the press conference on the top-level meeting with German industry and business.

Chancellor Angela Merkel engaged in discussion with top-level representatives of German industry and business

Photo: Bundesregierung/Bergmann

Things need not always be mandatory

Our industry, said Angela Merkel, needs well trained specialists now and in future. Legislation on immigration for skilled workers is thus an urgent point on the agenda for this legislative period, along with efforts to improve technical and vocational education and training in Germany. The Chancellor, however, rejected proposals for mandatory internships during vocational training. "Not everything always needs to be made mandatory."

The four top-level German business and industry associations – the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA), the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) and the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) – meet once a year to engage in dialogue with the Chancellor. The focus is on topical economic and social issues. The framework is provided by the Munich IHM, the international trade fair for craft trades.