Austrian Economic Policy News and Analysis

Read the latest headlines about policies and laws influencing the business and investment environment of Vienna and Austria

Vienna to Host the "TRATOLOW" Climate Conference for the Western Balkans and Turkey

In a crucial meeting in Vienna today, leading climate and environmental representatives from the Western Balkans, Turkey and the EU discussed strategies to tackle climate change. Organized by the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action, the EU Department for Climate Action and the Austrian Environment Agency, the conference focused on the TRATOLOW project, which aims to achieve a sustainable climate transition in these regions.

April 29, 2024

EU Commission Warns Austria About Outstanding Climate Plan

Austria is being criticized by the European Commission because it is the only EU country that has not yet submitted its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP). The failure to meet the deadline has led to official infringement proceedings. This increases the pressure on the Austrian government to revise and present its strategies for achieving the climate targets by 2030.

April 29, 2024

Future of Research in Austria: Leader in the European Union

In an unprecedented phase of development, Austria's research landscape has set out to achieve the highest research quota within the European Union. The year 2024 marks a turning point in which the country achieves a research quota of 3.34% of gross domestic product (GDP) - a record figure that puts Austria on the ambitious path to the top in Europe.

April 24, 2024

Trade Seminar in Vienna on the Latest Regulatory Developments in the UAE

Diplomacy, business, and finance representatives gathered in Vienna for a seminar dedicated to the latest regulatory developments in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Organized by the Embassy of the UAE in cooperation with Crowe UAE and the Austrian Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC), the seminar provided a platform for an exchange on innovations in tax, corporate, and immigration law in the UAE. The event received special support through the participation of experts from the UAE Ministry of Finance and the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

March 24, 2024

New Dynamics on the Labor Market and with the Red-White-Red Card: Austria Relies on the Influx of Skilled Workers

At a meeting of the interministerial Skilled Workers Strategy Committee, decisive measures to speed up the procedures for the Red-White-Red Card were discussed. The aim is to combat the shortage of skilled workers in Austria through more efficient recruitment of internationally skilled workers and to increase the location's attractiveness.

March 19, 2024

Inflation Outlook for Austria Shows Significant Improvement

The Austrian National Bank's (OeNB) latest inflation forecast gives cause for cautious optimism for the Austrian economy. Inflation has decreased and economic growth has also returned since the start of the year, albeit weakly.

March 13, 2024

Austria Plans to Withdraw from Russian Gas Contracts

In a decisive step against continued energy dependence, Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) announced that she would end the gas supply contracts between OMV and the Russian company Gazprom. The contracts, which run until 2040 and oblige Austria to purchase significant quantities, are under critical review. Gewessler commissioned the Economic Research Institute (WIFO) to carry out a detailed analysis of the economic consequences of termination and the risks of continued dependency.

February 12, 2024

Africa Day 2024: Austria Looks to Africa's Future Markets

This year's Africa Day was all about Africa's future markets and offered a platform to strengthen economic relations between Austrian and African companies. Organized by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ), the event attracted more than 1,200 participants from Austria, over 30 African countries, and guests from Europe, Asia, and the USA.

February 5, 2024

Signa-Retail Company Lamarr Declares Bankruptcy

The highly anticipated Lamarr Kaufhaus project on Mariahilfer Straße in Vienna, set to include a flagship department store and hotel, has filed for bankruptcy. This development comes as a significant blow, as the project, originally slated for completion in 2025, has faced financial turmoil. The insolvency was confirmed by the Creditors' Protection Association KSV 1870 on Friday.

February 4, 2024

OPEC Fund: A Record Year for Development and Sustainability

The OPEC Fund for International Development has had an unprecedented year as the institution stepped up its global development assistance efforts, committing a record-breaking US$1.7 billion to 55 projects worldwide. These funds, designed to address the challenges of climate change, support the energy transition, and strengthen social and economic resilience, mark a turning point in the Vienna-based Fund's efforts to promote sustainable growth worldwide.

January 30, 2024

Realignment and Expert Dialog: Austria's Path to Fair Competition

The new head of the Federal Competition Authority (BWB), Natalie Harsdorf-Borsch, has set herself the goal of taking stronger action against companies that abuse their market power. This focus marks a strategic reorientation of the BWB, which previously dealt primarily with price agreements and investigated fewer cases of abuse of market power.

January 28, 2024

Austrian Justice Minister Zadić Plans Reforms in Connection with the Signa Insolvency

The insolvency of the Signa real estate company has far-reaching consequences, which are now also prompting the Austrian Ministry of Justice under the leadership of Green Justice Minister Alma Zadić. In a five-point plan in response to Signa's insolvency, Zadić plans to significantly tighten the penalties for failing to submit balance sheets.

January 24, 2024

Austrian Banking Sector Focuses on Sustainability: OeKB > ESG Data Hub Established

In a remarkable step towards promoting sustainability in the financial sector, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank (OeKB) has successfully introduced the OeKB > ESG Data Hub. Around 80% of the domestic banking sector, including well-known institutions such as UniCredit Bank Austria, Raiffeisen-Sektor, Erste Bank, and Sparkassen as well as Oberbank, already use this central online platform.

January 11, 2024

Vienna Stock Exchange Overcomes Challenges in 2023 with Record Bond Listings

The Vienna Stock Exchange experienced a challenging year in 2023, characterized by high interest rates, persistent inflation and geopolitical tensions affecting the European equity markets. Despite these unfavorable conditions, which impacted trading activity, the exchange achieved a record year for bond listings.

January 8, 2024

Emirati State Fund Mubadala Fails with Claim Against Signa Holding

The Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala, has failed with a significant claim against the insolvent Signa Holding. The request to claim a payment of 713 million euros was rejected in emergency arbitration proceedings.

December 21, 2023

Vienna Stock Exchange Expands Offering with Focus on ESG and Digitalization

The Vienna Stock Exchange has announced a significant expansion of its offering in the global market and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) segments with a focus on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and digitalization.

December 21, 2023

New Second Home Tax in Vienna in 2025

Vienna is implementing new measures to regulate second homes. From 2025, an annual tax will be introduced for people who have a secondary residence in Vienna but do not have their main residence there.

December 21, 2023

Vienna Commercial Court Establishes Creditors' Committee for Signa Holding

The Austrian Signa Holding, founded in 2000 by René Benko, is currently facing major challenges. The Commercial Court of Vienna has set up a creditors' committee for the ongoing reorganization proceedings to examine the non-transparent structures of the Signa Group and to decide on the reorganization plan offered by Signa.

December 18, 2023

Ukraine Removes Raiffeisen Bank International from the List of "War Sponsors"

The Ukrainian government has temporarily removed Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) from the controversial list of "war sponsors". This step follows intensive bilateral talks and consultations with representatives of the European Commission. RBI, which was previously criticized for its business activities in Russia and the recognition of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics by its Russian subsidiary, is now no longer suspected of supporting the Russian war of aggression.

December 17, 2023

OMV's Borealis to Merge with Borouge in a 30 Billion Euro Deal

OMV's subsidiary Borealis is set to merge with the Abu Dhabi-based petrochemical company Borouge, creating a new global heavyweight in the chemical and plastic sector with an estimated value of 30 billion euros. This significant move marks a transformative step in the ongoing value creation and chemical growth strategy of both companies.

December 14, 2023

The Future of a Crumbling Empire: René Benko's Signa Group in Insolvency

The insolvency of the Signa Group, an Austrian company active in various sectors, including the real estate market, has far-reaching implications. Read more about the future of the Austrian flagship company!

December 6, 2023

Glock Ecotech Launches Sustainable Energy Project in Sweden

The Austrian company Glock ecotech has taken a significant step towards sustainable energy supply in Sweden. With the successful commissioning of its first electricity-to-heat power plant near Nyköping, the company now also offers an environmentally friendly energy option in the Scandinavian region.

December 5, 2023

Austria-Arab Business Dialogue: Increased Cooperation and Innovation

The 13th edition of the Arab-Austrian Business Forum, which took place in Vienna, impressively demonstrated the growing importance of cooperation between Austria and the Arab countries. The forum, organized by the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and the Vienna Economic Chamber (WKW), brought together over 200 participants from various countries, including high-ranking ministers and business people.

December 4, 2023

Revolutionizing E-Mobility in Austria: Introduction of the E-Control Tariff Calculator for E-Charging Stations

In a new initiative to promote e-mobility, the Austrian regulatory authority E-Control has introduced a new comparison calculator for public e-charging points.

November 23, 2023

Energy Transition and Sustainability: French Visit to the AMAG Aluminum Plant in Upper Austria

The French Ambassador to Austria, Gilles Pécout, visited the AMAG aluminum factory in Upper Austria. He was accompanied by the Honorary Consul Mr. Redlhammer and Mr. Chaumont from the Economic Service. During this visit, they were received by the Managing Director of AMAG, Gerald Mayer, and the company spokesman, Leopold Pöcksteiner. The meeting provided an opportunity to shed light on the company's operational activities, strengths, and challenges.

November 17, 2023

OPEC Secretary General Al Ghais Advocates for Increased Oil Production Amidst Global Energy Transition

In a recent op-ed and public statement, OPEC Secretary General, His Excellency Haitham Al Ghais, presented a compelling argument for the necessity of oil in today's world, even as global energy transitions are underway.

November 13, 2023

China and OPEC Cement Economic Ties for a Sustainable Energy Future

In a landmark progression for global energy relations, China and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have significantly deepened their partnership, moving from a historical ideological alliance to a robust economic collaboration. This shift is set to have far-reaching implications for market stability and the sustainable development of the global energy sector.

November 9, 2023

Vienna Pioneer for Circular Economy: Climate Lab as a Spark for Climate Transformation

In the heart of Vienna, more precisely at the Climate Lab in Vienna Spittelau, an innovative movement has emerged that has the potential to fundamentally change the way Austria's economy deals with its resources. Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler and the top representatives of Austria's largest companies came together to drive forward a sustainable transformation of Austria as a business location, with the Climate Lab playing a key role.

November 5, 2023

New "Integration Service for Skilled Workers" Opened in Austria

The Federal Minister for Women, Family, Integration and Media, Susanne Raab, visited the newly founded "Integration Service for Skilled Workers". The facility serves as a central point of contact for qualified skilled workers and their families as well as for companies operating in Austria. The service includes advice, information, and events on topics such as pre-integration, living and working in Austria as well as German language courses.

November 2, 2023

Austria Backs Microelectronics: Three billion Euros Investment and AT&S Lighthouse Project

The Austrian government has made a firm commitment to support the microelectronics industry with three billion euros of investment over the coming years. These bold investments will help to promote the research and development of semiconductor companies in Austria and strengthen the foundations for digitalization, green energy transition, and sustainable growth.

November 2, 2023

Ukraine Will Block Gas Transit: Challenges and Opportunities for OMV and Europe

Ukraine's decision to stop transiting Russian natural gas to the West from 2025 poses a significant challenge for OMV and for several European countries. The announcement, made by the head of Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz, Olexiy Chernyshov, raises several questions about energy security and dependence on Russian gas.

October 29, 2023

APG Invests Nine Billion Euros in Austria's Electricity Grid

Austrian Power Grid (APG) has unveiled an ambitious €9 billion investment program designed to lay the foundation for a supply-secure energy transition in Austria. The company, a subsidiary of Verbund AG, thus plays a central role in the transformation of the Austrian energy supply system.

October 24, 2023

Austria Takes Over Chairmanship of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region

November 1, 2023, marks the beginning of an important phase for Austria as it takes over the presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). This key region, which stretches from the Black Forest to the Black Sea and encompasses around 115 million people, faces a multitude of challenges. The country is taking over this task from Slovenia and will be in charge until December 31, 2024.

October 24, 2023

Wien Energie Strengthens Independence By Reducing Russian Gas

With the start of the heating season in Vienna, ushered in by a sudden drop in temperatures after an unusually warm start to October, the essential issue of energy supply security is once again coming to the fore. In light of ongoing geopolitical tensions, Wien Energie, Austria's largest energy supplier, has taken proactive measures to secure heating supplies for the coming winter while reducing dependence on Russian natural gas.

October 22, 2023

Italy Takes Austria to the European Court of Justice over Transit Measures

The ongoing controversy over transit measures on the Brenner route reached a new level of escalation when the Italian government decided to take Austria to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

October 16, 2023

Austria Wants to Be One of the Most Sustainable Destinations in the World

The extent to which the issue of climate change now affects all areas of our lives was also evident at this year's Expo Real in Munich.

Birgit Adelsberger · October 8, 2023

Construction Stop of "High Speed 2" in Northern England: Austrian Companies Affected

The surprising halt to the construction of part of the major British project, the "High Speed 2" (HS2) high-speed rail line, is causing discussion among the companies involved. Austrian companies in particular, which are involved in the rail project worth billions, could be affected.

October 5, 2023

Norway as a New Key Partner for Austria in Energy and Climate Protection

During a working visit to Norway, Chancellor Karl Nehammer emphasized Norway's key role in the fields of environment, energy technology, and climate protection. In a conversation with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, Nehammer emphasized that Norway is not only an important partner but also a pioneer in environmental and energy technology.

October 3, 2023

Federation of Austrian Industries: New Divisional Managers in "Education & Society" and "International Relations & Markets

The Federation of Austrian Industries (IV) has announced personnel changes in two of its core areas. Gudrun Feucht and Igor Sekardi join in senior positions, supported by their previous roles at IV and their extensive expertise in their respective areas.

October 2, 2023

Austria Strengthens its Economic and Diplomatic Relations with Africa

Austria has increased its focus on its economic and diplomatic relations with Africa. The country's trade with sub-Saharan Africa amounted to 2.28 billion euros in 2022, or about 0.56 percent of Austria's total trade volume. Austrian exports to the region increased by 15.7 percent year-on-year to 1.33 billion euros. South Africa, Mali, and Nigeria were the main export markets. Read more about why Africa is important for Austria!

September 28, 2023

New Start for the Repair Bonus: Safer, but with Longer Waiting Times

After an abrupt halt in the summer due to fraud, the repair bonus is now returning. In a revised version aimed at preventing fraud, customers can now apply for the bonus again. However, the security measures are associated with longer waiting times.

September 24, 2023

Japanese Takeda Lays Foundation Stone for "Laboratory of the Future" in Vienna's Urban Lakeside Aspern

In a symbolic act, the foundation stone was laid for Takeda's "Laboratory of the Future" in Vienna's Seestadt Aspern. With an investment of around 120 million euros, the Japanese pharmaceutical giant represents the company's largest investment to date in Austria in a technically and ecologically optimized new building for biopharmaceutical research and development.

September 22, 2023

Three Seas Initiative Summit Concludes with Resounding Commitments and Strong Support for Ukraine

During the 8th edition of the Three Seas Initiative Summit, the prestigious halls of the Cotroceni Palace welcomed Central and Eastern European leaders. This gathering was a demonstration of unity and determination against a backdrop of increasing geopolitical tension. On this same occasion, the President of Austria stressed support for Ukraine and the common fight against global warming.

September 20, 2023

EU-Mercosur Pact: Austria's Balancing Act between Trade Opportunities and Sustainability

The discussion about the free trade agreement between the EU and the Mercosur countries - Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay - is entering a new round. While some see the treaty as an opportunity to intensify trade between the two economic areas, others raise serious concerns about its impact on the environment and social standards.

September 19, 2023

Austria EU Representative Selmayr at Dispute Because Of "Blood Money" Statement

EU representative Martin Selmayr has called Austrian gas payments to Russia "blood money". Now reprimanded by Vienna and Brussels, EU Commission representative Martin Selmayr does not want to give up his job in Austria.

September 14, 2023

Skills Shortage in Austria: Companies Feel Pressure, But Also Opportunities

A recent study by the recruiting platform Stepstone shows that the shortage of skilled workers is leaving a clear mark on Austria's companies. Two-thirds of respondents are concerned about the additional workload caused by unfilled positions. This is despite a slight increase in advertised vacancies of 2 percent in the first half of the year, with some sectors such as engineering, care, and construction even seeing significant increases.

September 13, 2023

Austrian Army Modernizes its Tank Fleet in Germany

In the presence of the Minister of Defense, Klaudia Tanner the first "Leopard" main battle tank from Wels was handed over to the European armaments company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter Defence Systems (KNDS). The aim of this initiative is to modernize the tank so that it meets current technological and military requirements.

September 11, 2023

Green Peak Festival 2023: Austria's Pioneer for Climate Protection and Entrepreneurship

The renowned Green Peak Festival, which has established itself in the heart of Vienna as Austria's flagship event for sustainability and entrepreneurship, impressed once again. For the second year in a row, over 800 participants gathered to network, exchange ideas and discuss the latest developments in sustainability. The project was supported this year by the Embassy of Israel.

September 11, 2023

New Regulations in Vienna: Year-round Outdoor Cafés and Green Parklets

In an innovative response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Vienna has adopted new regulations for catering establishments and public lounges. Both Schanigärten (Viennese Outdoor Cafés) and the green parklets known as "Grätzloasen" are now allowed to remain in public spaces all year round.

September 10, 2023

Austria Signs Strategic Partnership for Food Aid

In the midst of global humanitarian challenges and in view of the increasing need for international food aid, Minister of Agriculture Norbert Totschnig signed a landmark three-year Strategic Partnership for Food Aid together with Ute Klamert, Associate Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). This significant agreement was sealed on the sidelines of the European Forum Alpbach in Tyrol and is intended to help address the current global food crisis.

September 4, 2023