Read the latest headlines about bilateral relations in the areas of economy, business, diplomacy, culture and tourism between Austria and its partners
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Vienna's Foreign and Bilateral Relations

Starwood Sells Hotel Imperial Vienna for EUR 71 Million

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced that it has closed on the sale of Hotel Imperial Vienna, a Luxury Collection Hotel, to Al Habtoor Investment - the investment arm of UAE conglomerate Al Habtoor Group for 71 million euros. As part of the transaction, all rooms and suites of the iconic hotel will be renovated over the next four years. Hotel Imperial will continue to operate as part of The Luxury Collection brand under a new long-term management agreement.

February 26, 2016

Greece Recalls Ambassador to Vienna in Row over Worsening Migrant Issue

By decision of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Greece’s Ambassador to Vienna, H. E. Mrs. Chryssoula Aliferi, is being called to Athens for consultations aimed at "safeguarding the relations" between the states and peoples of Greece and Austria.

February 25, 2016

Siemens Austria Builds World's Largest Metro Project in Saudi Arabia

The Austrian unit of Siemens announced in Vienna Simmering at the rollout of the first vehicle that a "a very, very big order” has been secured. With six lines and a total route length of 175 kilometers, the capital of Saudi Arabia Riyadh is planning the world's largest subway project. Siemens is to supply the entire turnkey system for two driverless metro lines.

February 24, 2016

Austrian Business Delegation to Visit India - Results

Austria's business delegation has returned from a five-day visit to India. What did they achieve?

February 23, 2016

Erste Group Provides Blackstone with a 5-Year EUR 91 Million Facility

Erste Group provides Blackstone with a 5-year EUR 91 million facility to acquire 12 logistics assets. The 265000 sqm portfolio covers 12 standing logistics investments located in Hungary (5), Romania (4), Poland (2) and Slovakia (1), as well as land reserves.

February 22, 2016

Iran Appoints Ebadollah Molaie as New Ambassador to Austria

Ebadollah Molaie has been appointed as Iran’s new ambassador to Austria, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said recently.

February 19, 2016

UK Appoints New Ambassador to Austria and the United Nations in Vienna

Mr. Leigh Turner CMG has been appointed Her Majesty's Ambassador to the Republic of Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna. Mr. Turner currently serves as British Consul-General in Istanbul. After joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1984 to 1987 he already has had a posting in Austria before Turkey. The new ambassador to the Republic of Austria will take up his post in August 2016.

February 18, 2016

Exhibition: Chagall to Malevich - The Russian Avant-Gardes

The period from 1910 to 1920 was the heyday of the Russian avant-garde. Reason enough for the Albertina to dedicate an exhibition to Chagall, Malevich and Co.

February 15, 2016

State Visits from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in Context of Austria's OSCE Chairmanship in 2017

Michael Linhart met Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov and Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Araz Azimov in Vienna. “Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are important partners for Austria in the context of its OSCE Chairmanship in 2017”

February 12, 2016

Austrian Ambassador to the United States Wolfgang Waldner Presented his Credentials to President Obama

Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner presented his credentials to President Barack Obama on Thursday January 28, 2016. "I am looking forward to my upcoming tasks, especially to be part of the successful bilateral relationship our two countries share. It will be my honor to further strengthen the political, economic, and cultural bonds between the United States and Austria over the course of the next four years." Waldner said at the White House.

February 12, 2016

Opening of Austrian Embassy in Minsk: Belarus Acts as an Important Bridge

On 9 February 2016, the Austrian Embassy in Minsk was officially opened by the Secretary General for Foreign Affairs Michael Linhart. The opening of the embassy is an important element in the restructuring process launched by Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz to bring about a strategic re-orientation of the diplomatic representation network. "Austria is thus sending out a signal that the EU's immediate neighbourhood is one of its foreign policy priorities", Linhart pointed out.

February 12, 2016

Activ Solar Files for Reorganisation in Austria, Debts Reach EUR 500 Million

Vienna-based Activ Solar GmbH announced that it is bankrupt and that it has filed for reorganization in Austria due to its investment exposure in Ukraine. The company has amassed debts to the tune of EUR 500 million.

February 10, 2016

Unicredit Bank Austria Preliminary Results: Net Profit of About EUR 1.3 Billion for 2015

Unicredit Bank Austria has published its preliminary results for the 2015 financial year. Unicredit's Austrian subsidiary posts a net profit of about EUR 1.3 billion for 2015. Systemic charges including bank levies are up by EUR 89 million to EUR 326 million.

February 10, 2016

Vietnam: Doppelmayr Inaugurates World's Longest 3-Rope Cable Car System

The world's longest three-rope cable car system was inaugurated in Vietnam's northern Lao Cai province. With the total length of 6,292.5 meters, the system was recognized by Guinness World Records as world's longest three-rope cable car route, and the world's biggest height gap between its departure and arrival stations of 1,410 meters.

February 4, 2016

Klaus Toepfer to Give Keynote Speech at Economic and Environmental Forum in Vienna

Good governance in the OSCE area, reinforcing security and stability through co-operation, will be theme of the 24th Economic and Environmental Forum and the 1st Preparatory Meeting taking place on 25 and 26 January in Vienna. The meeting will focus on good environmental governance to enable sustainable economic development.

January 22, 2016

UniCredit Bank Austria Named Best Trade Finance Bank in Austria

US financial magazine Global Finance selected Bank Austria for the eighth time in a row "Best Trade Finance Bank" in Austria.

January 21, 2016

Czechs Jirí Šmejc and Karel Komárek Want to Take Control of Casinos Austria

The Czech consortium Austrian Gaming Holding (AGH) of billionaires Jirí Šmejc and Karel Komárek, headquartered in Prague may soon be new majority owner of Casinos Austria AG. According to the Federal Competition Authority (BWB), Austrian Gaming Holding intends to increase one hand its stake in Medial to 88.89 percent and on the other hand to acquire 16.79 percent of Casinos Austria AG shares. Through these acquisitions, AGH will hold directly or indirectly 50.82 percent of the shares and thus acquire sole control of the CASAG.

January 21, 2016

Vienna Congress comsult 2016: "The Future of Growth"

"The Future of Growth" was the topic of the Vienna Congress com•sult 2016 which took place at Vienna's House of Industry. The Vienna Congress once again brought together prominent figures from the worlds of politics, economics and science to discuss future development of different aspects, focusing on the issue of migrant crisis, which has been one of the greatest challenges faced by European states and institutions in every sense. Distinguished participants from industry, politics and the business community such as Milica Pejanovic, Mohamed ElBaradei, Mario Monti, Markus Rogan, Dan Shechtman and Guenther Fehlinger discussed perspectives and strategies for new growth in Europe.

January 20, 2016

Central and Eastern Europe's Financial Elite Gathered at the CEE Forum in Vienna

The 21st Euromoney Central and Eastern European Forum ended in Vienna today, where 1000 delegates from the region joined local and international investors to help plan, debate and analyze the economic agenda for the region for the year ahead. The vast majority of the delegates have a negative outlook for the year 2016. Only one of the participants expects that this year CEE will grow more than 3.5%.

January 20, 2016

Austrian Foreign Ministry Welcomes Completion of Next Phase of the Vienna Agreement with Iran

The Austrian Foreign Minister welcomed the successful completion of the preparatory phase for the implementation of the Vienna Agreement between the E3/EU+3 and Iran. He hopes that Iran will assume a constructive role in resolving regional conflicts.

January 19, 2016

Germany's Steinmeier Formally Assumes 2016 OSCE Chairmanship

OSCE to serve as a platform for real and honest dialogue on today’s security challenges, says Steinmeier, as Germany formally assumes 2016 OSCE Chairmanship.

January 15, 2016

Black Diamond Equipment Relocates European Headquarters from Switzerland to Austria

Producer of climbing, skiing, mountain sports equipment Black Diamond will move its European headquarters from Basel to Innsbruck. Tim Bantle has been appointed Managing Director. Black Diamond is actively recruiting staff for the new office, with approximately 35 jobs across sales, marketing, customer service, operations and finance. The new office is expected to be operational in May 2016. Black Diamond Equipment was established in 1989 and has its headquarters in Salt Lake City in Utah.

January 14, 2016

Central and Eastern European Forum in Vienna next Week

The Central and Eastern European Forum - organized by Euromoney - is taking place in Vienna next week. 1,000 top level policymakers, issuers, and commentators from the region will join local and international investors to help plan, debate and analyze the economic agenda for the region for the year ahead.

January 13, 2016

Kurz: North Korea is Increasingly Isolating Itself from the International Community

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz condemns the latest North Korean nuclear test in the strongest terms and underlines his full trust in the CTBTO.

January 11, 2016

Strabag Builds Hydroelectric Power Plant in Bosnia-Herzegovina Worth € 57 Million

A consortium consisting of Austrian construction group Strabag and Croatian industrial company Končar has been awarded the contract to build the Vranduk power plant on the river Bosna on behalf of energy supply company JP Elektroprivreda BiH.

January 11, 2016

EU to Crack Down on Postal Rip-Offs including Austrian Post

The FT reports that Brussels is preparing a regulatory crackdown against rip-off pricing by national postal operators on cross-border parcel deliveries. According to a study, cross-border parcel deliveries are often five times more expensive than identical trips on the domestic market. While the price of a standard 2 kg parcel delivery in Austria with the national postal operator is €4.44, to have that same parcel send to neighbouring Italy would cost €14. Sending the same parcel back from Italy to Austria will rise to €25. In order to connect the common market, the EU wants to develop the potential of e-commerce and to boost cross-border trade. According to the FT, a spokeswoman of the European Commission said that early next year the Commission will “launch measures to enhance price transparency and regulatory oversight” of the European parcel delivery market.

December 22, 2015

Austrian-Russian Friendship Society to Appoint Richard Schenz as New President

Dr. Richard Schenz has recently been appointed as new President of the Austrian-Russian Friendship Society (ORFG - Österreichisch-Russische Freundschaftsgesellschaft). He succeeds CEO Ludwig Scharinger who left office for health reasons. KR Sen.hc Richard Schenz is a Vice President of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO). He was formerly CEO of OMV and Capital Markets Advisor to the Austrian Minister of Finance.

December 22, 2015

Austria's Ambassador to the U.S. Hans Peter Manz Bids Farewell

Ambassador to the U.S. Dr. Hans Peter Manz will leave Washington and return to Vienna upon completion of his four year mission. Hans Peter Manz has served as Austria’s ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C., from December 2011 to December 2015. Before moving to the U.S., Dr. Manz was the Austrian Ambassador to Switzerland. During his diplomatic career, Dr. Manz served in a variety of positions, including inter alia, foreign policy advisor to the Chancellor of Austria. His overseas postings included Tehran, Bern and New York. Ambassador Manz will be succeeded by Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner.

December 18, 2015

UniCredit Final Restructuring Program on Bank Austria's Retail Business

UniCredit announced a major step in its strategic plan execution, by launching a profound restructuring program on its Austrian retail business that will enable Bank Austria to develop its business in a sustainable way, while bringing down significantly its cost income ratio. The restructuring plan will allow to reduce by 2018 Bank Austria's overall costs by € 150mn per year on an ongoing basis on top of the Strategic Plan and with main focus on personnel expenses, leading to an overall cost decrease by almost € 300mn versus 2014 in order to ensure the business sustainability in the long-run.

December 15, 2015

Burgenland to Be Pilot-Province for Courses on Values for Refugees

On the sidelines of a conference of experts on Integration of Austria's regional governments in Eisenstadt, Sebastian Kurz and Norbert Darabos announced a workshop cooperation between the Austrian Integration Fund (AIF) and the Federal Province of Burgenland: the AIF will offer workshops on integration for refugees and immigrants.

December 15, 2015

Report: Drug Money and Opiate Trafficking on the Balkan Route

A report recently launched by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that the total value of illicit heroin and opium trafficked from Afghanistan to Western Europe through the Balkans amounts to some $28 billion every year. Sixty-five per cent of this total ($18 billion) is generated in Western and Central Europe.

December 14, 2015

US Company Contour Moves European Headquarters from Paris to Vienna

The Vienna-based European headquarters will be the strategic centre for all thermal and renewable energy facilities in Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Armenia, Spain, Northern Ireland and Ukraine.

December 11, 2015

Multi-Million-Dollar Funding Agreement between Qatar and UNODC Signed in Vienna

Unprecedented funding agreement between UNODC and Qatar leaves lasting legacy for Doha Declaration. The agreement, totaling more than US$49 million and slated to run over four years, is to deliver projects related to justice, prisoners, youth and justice education.

December 11, 2015

Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Council of Ministers Places 27 New Diplomats at Head of Embassies

The Council of Ministers of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to place 27 new Austrian diplomats at head of Austrian Embassies worldwide.

December 10, 2015

RBI Sells Slovenian Subsidiary to US Private Equity Firm Apollo

Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) has reached an agreement to sell its Slovenian bank, Raiffeisen Banka d.d., to Biser Bidco, which is managed by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management, LLC. The purchase price has not been disclosed. The expected deconsolidation effect on RBI’s consolidated result will amount to minus EUR 49 million.

December 10, 2015

India Forum at the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce

Recently the Foreign Trade Department of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber organised an event focused on India. Entitled “Parameters for Your Success with Business in India”, the event counted with the participation of ca. 70 Austrian companies and entrepreneurs aiming for India or potentially being interested in doing business there.

December 3, 2015

Californian Woman Can Not Take Austrian Railways to Court in the US

Supreme Court says, Carol Sachs who was heavily injured in Innsbruck can’t sue in the US. Her lawsuit against the Austrian national railroad ÖBB for injuries that she suffered while attempting to board a train in Austria does not fall within the “commercial activity” exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and is therefore barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. The American wanted USD 20 million compensation from ÖBB.

December 2, 2015

Constantia Flexibles Acquires SE Asian Labels Producer Pemara

Constantia Flexibles Group strengthens its position in the Southeast Asia labels market by acquiring the Australian company Pemara Labels Group. The parties agreed not to disclose any financial details and the transaction is expected to close in the next few months. Pemara operates four plants in Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, along with sales offices in Sydney (Australia) and Manila (Philippines).

December 1, 2015

Andritz Subsidiary Schuler Lands Large-Scale Contract in China

Schuler AG has received a further major order from FAW Volkswagen Automotive Co., Ltd. The Chinese company ordered press line with ServoDirect Technology and a servo tryout press for its Qingdao facility. With a total force of 81,000 kilonewtons, the servo press line will be mainly used to produce car body parts, such as hoods or doors. The order value is in the middle double-digit-million-euro range.

November 30, 2015

Linhart: “Solidarity With Persecuted Religious Minorities in the Middle East”

The Secretary General for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Michael Linhart received the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon, Louis Raphael I Sako, and the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Teheran, Ramzi Garmou for talks on the situation of religious minorities in the Middle East, including in Iran. “The commitment to freedom of religion and the protection of religious minorities, especially of persecuted Christians in the region is a focal point of Austria’s foreign policy”, Secretary General Linhart outlined: “Therefore, we seek the dialogue with interested partners. The religious leaders play an important role in this, as religions must be a part of a lasting solution.”

November 27, 2015

Foreign Minister Kurz Met Adel al-Jubeir and King Salman bin Abdulaziz

During his first visit to Saudi Arabia, Austria's Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz was received both by his Saudi Arabian counterpart Adel al-Jubeir, as well as King Salman bin Abdulaziz. The talks included besides bilateral issues - which also include economic relations - the future of Syria, the danger of the "Islamic State" and human rights.

November 27, 2015

EBRD to Become 30 Per Cent Shareholder in Raiffeisen Bank Aval

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is about to become a 30 per cent shareholder in Raiffeisen Bank Aval JSC (RBA), a leading universal bank in Ukraine and a subsidiary of Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI), under an agreement signed in Kiev today.

November 25, 2015

Hungarian Central Bank Buys Austria's 68.8% Stake in Budapest Stock Exchange

Austrian shareholders CEESEG and OeKB sell their 68.8% stake in Budapest Stock Exchange to Hungarian Central Bank for €42m ($45m), the Hungarian central bank confirmed officially.

November 24, 2015

Austria Supports Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU Reform Agenda

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Secretary General, Linhart visited Sarajevo. EU-accession and fight against radicalization were in the centre of the talks. Linhart: “Full support for the Bosnian reform route”.

November 20, 2015

“Terrorism Cannot Be Justified by any Means and Stands in Clear Contradiction to Islam"

The President of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGiÖ), Fuat Sanac, and Minister for Integration, Sebastian Kurz in a joint reaction vehemently condemned the terrorist attacks in Paris.

November 19, 2015

Austria Contributes EUR 3 Mln to New EU-Aid Programme for Africa

On the occasion of the establishment of the EU-trust-fund, which aims at combating the reasons for migration and flight in Africa, against the backdrop of the EU-summit in La Valletta, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz underlined the necessity that Europe provides suitable answers to the challenges posed by the current refugee crisis. Austria will support the fund with EUR 3m from the Austrian Development Agency’s (ADA) budget.

November 19, 2015

Journalism Award “Writing for CEE 2015” Goes to Martin Leidenfrost

The EUR 5,000 Writing for CEE journalist prize has been awarded for the twelfth time. Journalists from all round Europe – including Northern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe and the CIS countries – have been invited to submit their works. The Austrian Journalist Martin Leidenfrost wins the “Writing for CEE 2015” award for his column "Expedition Europe". At the award ceremony writer and honorary guest Karl-Markus Gauß touched on the discovery of Europe and SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said, that Europe faces new boundaries and divisions.

November 18, 2015 · Updated: November 20, 2015; 19:00

Only Full EU-Integration Can Stabilise the Western Balkans for a Lasting Time

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz commented on the European Commission’s progress reports, which were presented earlier this month: “Most of the Western Balkans countries’ progress on their way in direction of EU-membership is noticeable and positive. The Commission’s new methodology renders possible an improved analysis on the progress made in the respective countries in the last year. This creates a positive competition. The new progress reports also underscore that all candidate countries still have a lot of hard work before them and EU support towards this is essential. The current refugee crisis is no exception in this respect as it shows, how important the Western Balkans countries and Turkey are to Europe in tackling this particular challenge.”

November 18, 2015

Linhart: “Foreign Policy Should Focus on Stabilization of Neighbouring Regions”

“The European foreign policy must focus more of its attention on the neighborhood, the stabilization thereof – and in the case of the Western Balkans, their way towards the EU – has to be our European priority”, Secretary General for Austrian Foreign Affairs, Dr. Michael Linhart declared on the occasion of the 19th Europe Forum of the Austria Institute for Europe and Security Policy (AIES) in the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna

November 18, 2015

Three Austrians Were Present in Outrageous Attack in Bataclan Concert Hall

According to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs also three Austrians were present in the Bataclan concert hall, one of the attacks' targets.

November 18, 2015