Read the latest headlines about policies and laws influencing the business and investment environment of Vienna and Austria
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Austrian Economic Policy News and Analysis

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

Austria Strengthens Synergies between Diplomatic and Business Community

Diplomacy and business go hand in hand. From now on, synergies between the representation networks of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber are to be used more efficiently.

February 26, 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

Vienna Startup Welcome Package: International Startups Set Up in Vienna

Over the last few years, Vienna has become a bristling hub of activities - from education to tourism to international organizations, and finally it is transforming into an interesting place for startups. Individuals increasingly flock to Vienna to found their own companies, or to continue what they've already begun in another area of the world. The Vienna Business Agency is awarding the Vienna Startup Welcome Package 2016 by inviting international startups to explore Vienna for 3 months.

December 23, 2015

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

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

IMF Report: Austria Should Make Cuts in Healthcare, Education, Pensions, Banks Should Raise Equity

Austria's outlook suggests a moderate improvement. The latest IMF report recommends Austria to conduct broad cuts in such areas of spending as healthcare, education and pensions. Also, Austrian banks should raise equity. Unemployment, although rising, has remained moderate at below 6 percent. Strengthening private consumption, investment, and exports are expected to raise growth to about 1½ percent in 2016. The current account surplus exceeds 2 percent of GDP thanks to sustained price competitiveness and robust tourism inflows. The authorities have made significant progress in revamping the regulatory framework for the banking sector. However challenges remain and further measures need to be taken. Therefore the IMF suggests three policy priorities: expenditure reforms, integrate immigrants into the Austrian economy and further strengthen financial sector resilience.

December 14, 2015

VTB Bank Austria has Passed the European Central Bank’s Stress Tests

To meet these requirements, VTB Bank (Austria) AG boosted the capital, raising its consolidated capital ratio from 9.3% as of the end of 2014 to 13.7% as of the end of September 2015.

November 16, 2015

Austria was Elected to Five UNESCO Bodies

During the current General Conference of the Organization for Education, Science and Culture of the United Nations (UNESCO) Austria was elected to five steering committees. The successful candidacies prove the credibility of Austrian experts worldwide.

November 13, 2015

Bank Austria Sells Prominent Property "The Mall" to Morgan Stanley Consortium

UniCredit Bank Austria AG announces that the purchase agreement for the shopping centre The Mall at Wien Mitte was signed with Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI), pending approval by the antitrust authorities.

October 22, 2015

How Can Exporters Benefit from the "Go-International Initiative" of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce?

Even in a challenging global economic environment, exports remain the driving force behind the Austrian economy. The go-international initiative of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce encourages companies to step across the border by offering advisory services, events and support, as well as making it easier for existing exporters to enter additional foreign markets.

October 19, 2015

InEquality: Economic Symposium at Forum Alpbach Launched

The Economic Symposium of the Forum Alpbach has been launched in the presence of business executives, politicians, students and the media. The core topic of this year's conference is InEquality.

September 2, 2015

Expat Insider: Country Report Austria - Safe & Sound

InterNations shares with you a detailed picture of life abroad in Austria: why people relocate, what their daily life is like, and how satisfied they are. Known for schnitzels, mountains, and bodybuilders turned governors, Austria has excellent rankings in the Quality of Life, Working Abroad, and Family Life Indices, but settling in isn't easy. They provide an in-depth country profile of Austria. Read on and find out what expatriate life in your dream destination Austria is actually like.

August 25, 2015