(Bloomberg) -- Germany needs to attract about 400,000 foreign workers per year to mitigate the economic impact of its aging society, according to the caucus leader of the country’s FDP party.

“The shortage of skilled workers is now so serious that it is dramatically slowing down our economy,” Christian Duerr said in an interview with WirtschaftsWoche. “We can only get the aging labor market under control with a modern immigration policy.”

Duerr’s FDP is part of the three-way coalition that took office late last year, and is pushing a revamped immigration strategy as one of its flagship projects. Germany’s population is one of the oldest in the world, and nearly a quarter is expected to be above 67 years old by the end of this decade.

A recent study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research highlighted the importance of migrant workers for the economy. A significant share of those who are already in Germany are active in fields that face labor shortages, such as truck drivers and nurses, the researchers said.

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