Harald Mahrer Remains Austrian Federal Economic Chamber President for Another Five Years

More+Events ♦ Published: June 26, 2020; 19:22 ♦ (Vindobona)

Harald Mahrer was re-elected President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ) at the Economic Parliament and was immediately praised by Margarete Schramböck, Federal Minister for Digitalisation and Business Location.

Mahrer: "We need an unconditional focus on quality and innovation!" / Picture: © WKO Austrian Chamber of Commerce / Fotospeed Ulrich Schnarr | 2776 x 2652 px | 2,3 MB

In addition to Mahrer, the Vice Presidents were also appointed for the coming term of office. Martha Schultz and Richard Schenz, both from the Austrian Business Federation, were again elected to the WKÖ presidium. The Styrian car dealer Philipp Gady, the Carinthian PR consultant Carmen Goby and Amelie Groß, managing director of the Salzburg family business Inkasso Merkur GmbH, were newly appointed as co-opted vice presidents. 

In addition, Christoph Matznetter for the Social Democratic Business Association (SWV) and Matthias Krenn from the Freedom Economy (FW) were co-opted into the WKÖ presidency and Mahr's predecessor and Eurochambres President Christoph Leitl was again appointed as WKÖ Honorary President. Karlheinz Kopf will continue to act as Secretary General of the WKÖ in the new period of office, Mariana Kühnel and Herwig Höllinger will remain Deputy Secretary Generals.

Mahrer introduced his inaugural speech for the new term of office as follows: "At the end of 2019 we were in a good position, Austria was at the end of a boom phase. Then the coronavirus took us into a stranglehold. The fact that we managed to free ourselves from it relatively well and that Austria got off with fewer wounds than many other countries is due not only to the swift action of the federal government but also to the many helping hands in the background," said Mahrer, illustrating the performance of the organisation of the Economic Chamber with figures: Among other things, since the start of the lockdown the chambers of commerce have held 635,000 telephone consultations, answered almost 670,000 e-mails and held more than 1,000 webinars.

At the same time, Mahrer emphasized that the economic packages of the Federal Government provide effective assistance. "With the relief and investment measures, whose total volume amounts to 4.8 percent of GDP, this is the largest package ever. And they are highly intelligent measures that bear the hallmark of optimism," said Mahrer. After all, the aim is to boost investment and consumption and gradually bring the economy back to normality.

Mahrer: "We need an unconditional focus on quality and innovation"

According to Mahrer, in addition to measures to overcome the crisis, measures are also needed to use Corona as an opportunity to ensure that Austria is well positioned for the future: "Corona is a catalyst, so to speak. We would rather sit in the cockpit in order to be able to position ourselves well internationally than just being a passenger", said Mahrer. He therefore mentioned education and qualification, the strengthening of exports, for example by strategically developing future markets, as well as digitisation & innovation and the strengthening of the regions as focal points of his work. "We need unconditional quality and innovation orientation. The strengths of the Austrian economy are its colourfulness and diversity. If we develop these, we will be among the best in the world in the future," Mahrer concluded.

Curriculum Vitae: Dr. Harald Mahrer
Date of Birth: 27 March 1973 (Vienna)
1983 - 1991
Grammar School Vienna Krottenbachstraße
1991 - 1998
Studies of business administration at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration
1998 - 2000
Doctoral studies in social and economic sciences in Vienna
Career History:

1995 - 1997
Chairman of the Austrian National Union of Students at the Vienna University of Economics and Business
1997 - 2000
Research assistant at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration
2000 - 2005
Managing Partner of legend Consulting GmbH
2006 - 2010
Managing Partner of Pleon Publico Public Relations GmbH
2010 - 2012
Managing Partner of cumclave Unternehmensberatung GmbH
2010 - 9/2014
Managing Partner of HM Tauern Holding Beteiligungsgesellschaft m.b.H.
since 1/2018
Managing Partner of HM Tauern Holding Beteiligungsgesellschaft m.b.H.

1999 - 2000
Spokesperson and project manager of the initiative "GO-ON Austria to the Internet
2003 - 2005
Member of the E-Government Board of the Austrian Federal Government
2004 - 2013
Co-Director of the Metis Institute for Economic & Political Research
2011 - 9/2015
President of the Julius Raab Foundation
since 9/2015
Deputy Chairman of the Political Academy
2/2016 - 12/2017
Vice-President of the Austrian Economic Federation
since 12/2017
President of the Austrian Economic Association
since May 18, 2018
President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
Political Mandates:

9/2014 - 5/2017
State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economics
5/2017 - 12/2017
Federal Minister of Science, Research and Economics