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Austrian Economic Policy News and Analysis

Barnier Meets the Austrian Government - What's the Point of a Brexit Postponement?

The Brussels chief negotiator for the Brexit, Michel Barnier, visited Vienna for talks with Foreign Minister Kneissl, Chancellor Kurz and Chancellery Minister Blümel. The agenda of the meeting included an exchange on the current state of the Brexit negotiations and the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom.

March 1, 2019

Austrian Citizenship Awarded to Nearly 10,000 Foreigners

The number of naturalisations in Austria in 2018 was 1.9% higher than in the previous year. A total of 9,450 persons were granted Austrian citizenship, including 95 resident abroad. Following an interesting analysis of the different legal grounds for naturalisation.

February 28, 2019

Kazakh-Austrian Economic Relations - Digitization, Housing and the New Silk Road

After the oil price collapse and the significant currency devaluation thereafter, the economic downturn has bottomed out and the Kazakh economy is experiencing a moderate upswing. For 2018, the Kazakh government again expects growth of +4%. The country's priority economic tasks include digitization, housing construction and the New Silk Road Project.

February 11, 2019

Astana and Vienna Celebrate 27 Years of Diplomatic Relationships

Kazakhstan marks the 27th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Austria, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of Spain. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Austria generated a trade surplus of 156.3 million US dollars last year.

February 11, 2019

Founder of Global Peter Drucker Forum Honored as Excellent Management-Ambassador

Dr. Richard Straub, who resides in Paris for more than two decades, received the Grand Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria (Große Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich) at the Austrian Embassy in Paris.

February 5, 2019

What Does the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement Mean for Austria?

The Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs has calculated that the savings potential through the elimination of customs duties amounts to around one billion euros across the EU and to around EUR 34 million for Austria. For Austria this means a rather modest growth effect of 0.011 percent of GDP.

February 4, 2019

EU-Japan Agreement Secures EUR 34 Million in Jobs and Prosperity in Austria

The EU's Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan entered into force on 1 February 2019. For Austria, Japan is by far the second most important market in Asia and the third most important overseas trading partner. About 1000 Austrian exporters are active in Japan, 80 companies have local branches. In 2017 the trade volume reached an all-time high of 3.5 billion euros.

February 4, 2019

New Austrian Foreign Trade Strategy: Growth, Jobs, Prosperity

In a joint event in the Aula of Sciences, the Federal Government's new foreign trade strategy was presented by Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck, Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and President of the Chamber of Commerce Harald Mahrer. The key points of the strategy are the following: Perspective, value orientation, location effect, focal points, future orientation, communication, efficient coordination.

December 20, 2018

What Does Austria Have to Do with the Silk Road Project?

The Chinese "One Belt One Road Initiative", also known as the New Silk Road, is China's strategic measure of the century to make the entire Euro-Asian region including Africa even more dependent on its products and investments. Now the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and the ambassadors from China and Kazakhstan have joined forces to convince the Austrian population and politicians that the connection of Austria via broad-gauge railway to the Silk Road is an opportunity of the century.

November 30, 2018

What Brexit Means for Austrian Federal Provinces

The economic links between the Austrian provinces and the United Kingdom show that the withdrawal will not only be disadvantageous for the UK, but will also leave its mark on Austria's economy. According to a chart of the Thinktank Agenda Austria, the Austrian federal states whose exports will be hardest hit by the UK's departure are Upper Austria and Styria.

November 29, 2018

Immigration in Austria - Migration Compensates for Expected Birth Deficit

Austria will have just under 10 million inhabitants in 2080. This follows from the assumptions of sustained immigration, stagnating birth rates and a further increase in life expectancy. The number of people born abroad will already rise by one third by 2040.

November 22, 2018

The New Location Development Act - Significance for Austria's Attractiveness as a Business Location

The Austrian government has passed the highly controversial Location Development Act in the Council of Ministers, which will speed up environmental impact assessments, be passed by the National Council this year and come into force on 1 January 2019. The new legislation will introduce automatic permits for certain energy infrastructure projects (eg, electricity grids and power plants). Positive reactions are coming from industry and politics. Various environmental associations criticise the new law.

November 22, 2018

Austria Strengthening Venture Capital Structures with Seoul and Shanghai

Margarete Schramböck, Austrian Federal Minister for Digitisation and Business, visited Seoul, the capital of South Korea and China's greater Shanghai metropolitan area, together with a high-ranking delegation of experts from the fields of digitisation, science and business, with the aim of strengthening Austria as a location for innovation.

November 9, 2018

Austria in E-Government ahead of Germany and Switzerland

Margarete Schramböck is on the right course. According to a recent study on the e-government situation in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Austria clearly holds the top position in the e-government country comparison.

November 7, 2018

Austrian National Bank Seeking Successors for Top Jobs

The Board of Governors of the OeNB Austrian National Bank has published a recruitment announcement for the new central bank governor, vice governor and two members of the Management Committee. Applications can be submitted until 5 December, according to the official gazette of the "Wiener Zeitung".

November 5, 2018

Austria Continues to Deteriorate in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index 2019

The Ease of Doing Business Rankings provide measures of business regulations for local firms in 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational level. In 2019 Austria falls from 22nd to 26th place worldwide. Germany also loses ground, but remains one notch ahead of Austria. New Zealand leads the ranking for the third time in a row. The Kiwis replaced Singapore three years ago, which had previously held the top position for 10 years. In the 2019 Ease of doing business index, the following countries rank 3rd to 10th: Denmark, Hong Kong, South Korea, Georgia, Norway, United States, United Kingdom and Macedonia.

November 1, 2018

Growth of Foreign Controlled Enterprises in Austria

Statistics Austria reports a slight increase in the number of foreign-controlled companies in Austria. As at 31.12.2016 there were around 10,800 companies in Austria that are part of a foreign group. In comparison, the number of foreign subsidiaries of Austrian companies remained constant.

October 31, 2018

Eurasian Economic Union vs. European Union - Perspectives and Limits

At Lansky, Ganzger + Partner, at the meeting room of the Austrian-Kazakh Society (ÖKG - Österreichisch-Kasachische Gesellschaft), a number of prominent participants met for a panel discussion to explore the relationship between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU, EEU), to which Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia belong, and the European Union (EU) entitled "The Eurasian Economic Union and the EU - Perspectives and Limits of a Partnership". The conference was hosted by the Research Centre for Eurasian Studies (EURAS), the Austrian-Kazakh Society (ÖKG - Österreichisch-Kasachische Gesellschaft) and the Austrian-Belarusian Society (ÖWG - Österreichisch-Weißrussische Gesellschaft).

October 30, 2018

Why Austrians are the European Taillight in Financial Investments

A new statistic of the think tank Agenda Austria warns against emulating the Austrians in their investment strategy. In a comparison of 10 EU countries of real returns on financial assets, Austria came out at the bottom of the league.

October 29, 2018

Ambassador Traina on Trade-War: "Donald Trump is Europe's Greatest Hope"

In an interview with the trend-magazine the US ambassador in Vienna, Trevor Traina, warns of the Chinese, and that the theft of intellectual property could also happen to Europe's key industries. Donald Trump's unpredictability is therefore "Europe's greatest hope" to avert such a scenario in time.

October 19, 2018

Austrian State and Industrial Holding will be Reorganized Again

The holding company of the Austrian federal shareholdings (ÖBIB) is to be restructured and given a new boss. The existing structures created by the red-black predecessor government will soon be history again. The law for a new holding company of the Republic is to be examined in the next few days. Its boss is to be Thomas Schmid, general secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance.

October 3, 2018

Danube Region Business Forum - Infrastructure and Its Implications on Business in CEE and SEE

The Danube Region is one of the traditionally important markets for Central European regions and companies. However, the infrastructure of this region does not yet meet the requirements of the economy. The 8th Danube Region Business Forum will take place on 9 October 2018 at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in Vienna. The aim of the forum is to ensure that the infrastructural quality and cooperations in the region meet the requirements of the economy.

October 3, 2018

Infineon Invests 1.6 Billion Euros in New Chip Factory in Austria

German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon is investing in Carinthia in the largest chip factory in Europe. 1.6 billion euros will be invested in the construction of a new semiconductor factory at the Villach site.

May 30, 2018

Harald Mahrer: Economic Chamber Has 8 Million Members

In his inaugural speech, the new President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Mahrer, calls for more leeway for companies and the further development of the social partnership into a partnership for the future and announces an education offensive.

May 25, 2018

Iran-Deal Withdrawal: Consequences for Iran-Austrian Economics Relations

About 50 Austrian companies have branches in Iran. Austrian exports to Iran rose by 9.2 percent to 301 million euros in 2017; imports increased by 18.5 percent to 119 million euros. A JCPOA supported only by the EU, Russia, China and Iran is not sufficient in the medium and long term to create the necessary investments and renewals in Iran. Without the US on board, international banks and large companies will continue to shy away from activities in Iran. Secondary sanctions will contribute to this.

May 11, 2018

Trump's Iran Deal Withdrawal Increases Uncertainty for Austrian Companies

Austrian companies react in a wait-and-see manner. The withdrawal of the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran means in practice that the suspension of sanctions will no longer be extended. Considerations range from an immediate halt to activities in Iran to the longest possible active participation within the new sanctions framework. It is unlikely that Austria's exports will reach the 300 million euro mark of the previous year.

May 11, 2018

Iran-Deal - Austrian Oberbank Distances Itself from Framework Credit Agreement with Tehran

Only last year, the Upper Austrian Oberbank was the first European bank to sign a framework credit agreement with Iran. After the USA's withdrawal from the nuclear treaty, the bank is now under pressure and intends to wait and see. The bank says it could certainly take two weeks for a final solution to be found and officially agreed.

May 11, 2018

Vienna's Attractiveness as a Location for Business Continues to Grow

For the sixth year in a row, Vienna recorded the highest number of companies settling in the city. After Vienna had already achieved a record figure in the previous year with 178 international new additions, this was again exceeded last year with 191 new companies, which is an increase of 13%. These business establishments together are responsible for investments totalling €537 million and 1,087 new jobs. There are 344 new foreign invested businesses throughout Austria. German companies remain the number one investors in Austria.

April 30, 2018

Austria Participates in World EXPO 2020 Dubai Investing €16.5 Mln

Austria's participation agreement for the World Expo 2020 from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021 in Dubai has been signed by Government Commissioner Beatrix Karl as part of the "Austria Connect Gulf 2018" event of the WKO Foreign Trade Center (Außenwirtschaftscenter).

April 25, 2018

International Congresses: Vienna Worldwide Number Two - UN Events Contribute 7% of Conference Nights

The Vienna meetings industry progresses from record to record. With 186 meetings, Vienna remains behind Paris with 196 meetings, number 2 in the Worldwide Ranking of the ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association). In the year prior to that, Vienna was still in fifth place. The proportion of congresses that can be allocated exclusively to the United Nations is enormous and accounts for around 7% of overnight stays.

April 24, 2018

Eurozone Finance Ministers Welcome Austria's Budgetary Plans

The 19 members of the Eurozone welcome Austria's submission of an updated draft budgetary plan for 2018.

April 24, 2018

New Double Taxation Agreement Between Israel and Austria

After almost 50 years, a new double taxation agreement (DTA) for income and capital taxes was signed between Israel and Austria, which includes substantial tax relief.

April 10, 2018

Repatriation of Austrian Gold Reserves Nearing Completion

This year, and not in 2020, the OeNB Austrian National Bank is already concluding its repatriation campaign for half of its gold reserves. By the end of the year, 140 tonnes of gold are to be stored in Austria, with the other 140 tonnes remaining in London (84 tonnes) and Switzerland (56 tonnes).

March 30, 2018

Jens Weidmann Demands in Vienna an End to Massive Bond-Buying Program

The head of Deutsche Bundesbank, Jens Weidmann, visits Vienna to receive the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold (Grosses Goldenes Ehrenzeichen) from Finance Minister Hartwig Löger. In his speech he called for a rapid end to bond purchases by the European Central Bank (ECB).

March 26, 2018

Austrian Support for Peace and Security Programm in Horn of Africa Region

Vienna based ADA - Austrian Development Agency signs an agreement on peace and security in the Horn of Africa with EU and IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development). The EUTF - EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa provides 40 million euros. 35 million of this will be made available to ADA and 5 million directly to IGAD. The ADA passes on one million euros to IGAD. The Swedish International Development Agency SIDA will also contribute one million euros..

March 26, 2018

Austria's Double Budget 2018/2019 - Cautious Optimism

Finance Minister Hartwig Löger (ÖVP) presented his first budget. Austria's new federal government wants to earn more than it spends. The double budget for 2018 and 2019 should herald a new era. The Austrian state has been spending more than it takes for 65 years and this is to be reversed for the first time in 2019. Debt policy is to be ended. A budget surplus of 541 million euros is to be achieved and thus a turning point in budget policy. Most money should be spent on pensions, least on health.

March 22, 2018

Annual Report of the European Commission: How did Austria do?

The European Commission presented its annual reports on 27 EU member states. How did Austria do? Well, it kinda ended up with a black eye. The report took a pop at Vienna for a number of structural shortcomings, including tax burden on labour, pension and healthcare expenditures, house prices, restrictive regulation in the services markets, stagnating productivity and and not enough action on spreading digital technologies. That isn’t a particularly good report card for the previous coalition government of ÖVP und SPÖ. Let’s see if the new coalition government of ÖVP und FPÖ can make the grade the next time around.

March 11, 2018

Chancellor Kurz Visits President Putin: "The situation in Syria is dramatic"

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz traveled to Moscow to meet Vladimir Putin. The focus of the trip was a working meeting with the Russian President, with whom Kurz discussed, among other things, the bilateral relations of both countries, the relationship between Russia and the EU, the Ukraine conflict and the current situation in Syria.

February 28, 2018

Austrian Government Presents Double Budget 2018/19: EU Requirements Are Met - 2019 Balanced Budget

The new Austrian government is planning a zero deficit for next year, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ) have announced. The planned reduction in corporation tax could be of interest to foreign investors and companies.

February 28, 2018

Social Progress Index: Austria Ranked 13th

Austria has been ranked 13th by NGO Social Progress Imperative, in its Social Progress Index ranking. It precedes Japan and Germany and scored many points thanks to renewable energy projects. However, the state reveals shortages with respect to education, tolerance and equal opportunities. Nordic states, such as Finland, Canada and Denmark lead the index.

July 25, 2016

New "Open Austria Initiative" Supposed to Open Doors to Silicon Valley

Foreign Ministry and Austrian Economic Chamber open joint office in California to support Austrian companies and pave their way for success in Silicon Valley.

July 14, 2016

OSCE: "Reliable, Affordable and Sustainable Energy Supplies are Prerequisite for Stability and Security"

Energy experts from the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation, representing both government institutions and private sector companies, will begin a week-long field study of sustainable energy in Austria and Germany.

July 12, 2016

Western Balkans Countries Discussed Investment, Jobs and Integration in Vienna

The World Bank and the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) held a high-level policy dialogue on ‘Investment, Jobs and Integration’ last week. Ministers and senior officials from the Western Balkans region as well as policy experts from international organisations and the business community gathered to discuss the challenges the region is currently facing, in particular the high unemployment rate, low international competitiveness, and lack of modern infrastructure.

July 8, 2016

Agenda Austria Recommends Campaign Against Öxit

Think tank Agenda Austria recommends the government in Austria to devise a large campaign against an Austrian exit ("Öxit”), highlighting the benefits of EU membership, since the experts anticipate an increase in discussions concerning this issue.

June 27, 2016

Austrian Business Meets Foreign Diplomacy

In the context of the ‘Business meets Diplomacy’ series of events, representatives of the Austrian economy meet members of the foreign diplomatic corps for an exchange of views on Austrian business and the economy.

June 20, 2016

Tax Payers to Finance AvW Bankruptcy after all?

Tax payers may have to finance the bankruptcy of Carinthian financial company AvW after all, Presse daily reports in its online issue. The damage is estimated at EUR 148 million (USD 168.2 million).

June 8, 2016

IMD Competitiveness Ranking: Austria Edged Up to Rank 24

According to the latest issue of the competitiveness ranking established by Swiss research facility Instituts für Management-Entwicklung (IMD), Austria edged up from rank 26 to 24 y/y in 2015.

May 31, 2016

Bawag Laying Off Further 180 to 200 Employees

Bawag Bank will optimize its branches and in course of the process will cut 180 to 200 jobs. 70 to 80 of the affected employees are supposed to be sent back to their actual employers - Post AG.

May 3, 2016

VSE: International Investors Dominate Vienna Stock Exchange

International institutional investors are largest group of investors on the prime market of the VSE Vienna Stock Exchange. They account for some 78 percent of institutional free float of the prime market index ATX Prime stocks, according to a study.

April 12, 2016

International Women’s Day Debate: The Backlash Against Women’s Rights

Women throughout the world continue to face discrimination, are denied equal access to participation in public and political life and suffer sexual and gender-based violence and abuse in public places and at home. International Women’s Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. On March 8th the IWM library organizes a panel discussion called "The Backlash Against Women’s Rights".

March 2, 2016