Austrian Economic Policy News and Analysis

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

City of Vienna to Provide 120,000 Euros to Migrant Organizations in 2022

The City of Vienna has decided to provide 120,000 euros in funding for migrant organizations and associations to help offset the financial stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read about the funding for projects in 2022 and examples of important integration projects from 2021.

January 28, 2022

President of Switzerland on Official State Visit to Austria

On his first official visit to Austria as president, Swiss President Ignazio Cassis met with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen. Read more about the meeting between the two presidents.

January 14, 2022

Crisis in Lebanon - Austria's 180 Men Help Counter Hezbollah

Foreign Minister Schallenberg is in Lebanon for a working visit to discuss the ongoing crisis the country is facing. Read more about Schallenberg's visit and how Austria plans to help Lebanon.

January 11, 2022

OECD: "Austria Is Set to Overcome the COVID-19 Shock and Its Economic Scars"

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released its latest Economic Survey of Austria. Read what the Survey says about the Austrian economy coming out of the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

December 20, 2021

"Golden Sunday" Returns: Austrian Non-Food Retailers Allowed to Remain Open on December 19

In an attempt to recoup some of the billions of euros retailers lost out on due to the lockdown in the middle of the holiday season, the Austrian government has announced that non-food retailers will be allowed to remain open on Sunday, December 19 for what is known as "Golden Sunday." Learn which stores the exception applies to and when you can do some last-minute Christmas shopping on Sunday.

December 17, 2021

International Organizations Continue to Favor Austria as Their Seat

The hosting of international organizations is of great importance for Austrian foreign policy, secures 19,000 jobs and has a gross value added effect of € 1.35 billion per year.

December 13, 2021

Inaugural Statement of Austria's New Chancellor: "We Want to Reconcile with History"

Newly appointed Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer delivered his inaugural statement to the National Council. Read what the new chancellor said are some of the key issues his government will focus on.

December 10, 2021

Who Is the New Austrian Minister of Finance Dr. Magnus Brunner?

The new Austrian Minister of Finance, Dr. Magnus Brunner, has assumed his new position after being sworn in by President Van der Bellen. Learn more about Dr. Brunner and his career prior to becoming finance minister.

December 8, 2021

The Percentage of Austrians Born Abroad Rises from 20% to 27%

Austria's population is growing and aging. In 2020, actually life expectancy has decreased by half a year. There are more seniors than under-20s. In 2022, the population is expected to reach nine million.

November 30, 2021

The Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Austria's Economy

The consequences of COVID-19 pandemic continue to determine economic activity in Austria and the banks’ higher resilience has been key to COVID-19 response.

November 29, 2021

Western Balkans: Foreign Minister Linhart Visits Albania and North Macedonia

Foreign Minister Linhart, accompanied by an Austrian business delegation, visited the Western Balkan States of North Macedonia and Albania. Read about the foreign minister's meetings with various government officials, as well as his meetings with local business people as part of the ReFocus Austria initiative.

November 22, 2021

Emirate of Qatar and Vienna to Cooperate in Cultural and Tourism Sectors

Vienna City Councilor Peter Hanke and Vienna Chamber of Commerce President Walter Ruck met with various government officials in Qatar to discuss further cooperation between Vienna and Qatar in the cultural and tourism sectors. Read about the visit and what, specifically, was discussed.

November 17, 2021

US Embassy: Visit of the Chargé d'affaires Strengthens Economic Ties between USA and Upper Austria

The Chargé d'affaires of the US Embassy in Vienna Mario Mesquita visited Linz and met with Upper Austrian Governor Thomas Stelzer and Voestalpine CEO Herbert Eibensteiner. Read about Mesquita's visit and what was discussed.

November 11, 2021

Linhart's Round of Visits to Central Asian Autocrats Was All about Deepening Economic Relations

Foreign Minister Linhart visited the Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan to strengthen economic relations. The foreign minister met various leaders and participated in multiple economic forums. Read about the details of his trip to Central Asia.

November 9, 2021

Strengthening Bilateral Economic Relations: Austria's Linhart in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan

Foreign Minister Linhart is visiting Central Asia with a business delegation to attend the first EU-Central Asia Economic Forum and discuss economic relations with various government representatives. The foreign minister's trip includes stops in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Read about Linhart's agenda and what topics will be discussed.

November 5, 2021

Schallenberg at UN Climate Conference: "We can only overcome a global crisis together"

Chancellor Schallenberg recently spoke at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. The Austrian chancellor stressed the need for international cooperation to fight climate change. Read some of Austria's climate goals, what steps it is taking to achieve these, and what the chancellor said still needs to be done.

November 2, 2021

Strategic Partnership with United Arab Emirates in the Pipeline

On a trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Austrian National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka expressed support for a strategic partnership between the two countries. Read about this new partnership that is currently in the works.

October 28, 2021

Economic Diplomacy a la "ReFocus": Connecting Diplomatic Representatives with Austria's Business Community

Diplomatic representatives in Austria met with members of the Austrian business community as part of the "ReFocus Austria" government initiative aimed at promoting Austrian companies abroad and Austria as a business location. The main focus of this event was opportunities in the "green economy." Read more about this event and "ReFocus Austria."

October 27, 2021

Rating Agency Fitch Affirms Stable Outlook for Austria at AA+

Austria's AA+ rating is supported by a rich, diversified, open and high-value-added economy with strong political and social institutions, according to Fitch, the NYC based rating agency.

October 26, 2021

Austria's Strategy for the Upcoming European Council Meeting

Ahead of the European Council meeting in Brussels, Austrian Chancellor Schallenberg, EU Minister Edtstadler, and members of parliament laid out Austria's strategy for the meeting. Read their stances on the key issues they plan to raise in Brussels.

October 22, 2021

Austria Presents Financial Budget for 2022

Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blümel presented Austria's draft financial budget for 2022 to the Austrian Parliament in the form of the annual budget speech. The plan includes tax reforms, budget increases for various ministries, estimates regarding the COViD-19 crisis, and more. Read some of the specific provisions in the budget outlined by the finance minister.

October 14, 2021

Business Immigration Office: Vienna Launches New Service Point for Expats and International Companies

As of today, Vienna has its own service office for international professionals (expats) and companies for matters of residence law as well as consultations.

October 13, 2021

AMS to Provide Support as Companies Struggle to Fill Job Vacancies

Austria's public employment service (AMS) announced that it will be supporting companies with the "AMS Business Tour" initiative. Teams from the AMS will help companies in finding personnel, as the latest employment figures from the AMS show that three out of ten job vacancies currently cannot be filled even after three months of searching. Read more about this new initiative and some of the latest numbers from the AMS.

October 11, 2021

Austrian Government Promises to Provide More Money for Childcare

Austrian Minister for Women and Integration Susanne Raab announced that the federal government will be providing more money for childcare. Read more about what Raab said about this expansion of childcare in Austria.

October 7, 2021

The 250th Anniversary of the Vienna Stock Exchange

The Vienna Stock Exchange recently celebrated its 250th anniversary since it was founded by Maria Theresa. Minister of Finance Gernot Blümel congratulated the stock exchange on its anniversary and advocated for the implementation of a government program and retention periods to incentivize Austrians to invest in the domestic economy. Minister Blümel and Vienna Stock Exchange CEO Christoph Boschan both advocated for educating the public on financial topics. Read more about the Vienna Stock Exchange and what the pair said on its anniversary.

September 14, 2021

"Made in Austria": Ambassadors to Serve as Export Promoters

The Austrian government is calling on its diplomats around the world to promote Austria's export and tourism industries abroad to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis. At the opening event of "ReFocus Austria", Chancellor Kurz, Foreign Minister Schallenberg, and Vice-President of the Federal Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ) Martha Schultz laid out the government's plan. Read about "ReFocus Austria," what these officials said about it, and watch the video of the opening event.

September 10, 2021

Aid Package for Afghanistan Approved by Austrian Federal Government

The Austrian Federal Government has officially approved 18 million euros in emergency aid for Afghanistan that it had previously promised. The aid will go from the Austrian Foreign Ministry's Foreign Disaster Fund (AKF) to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Women, and the UN World Food Program.

September 9, 2021

Are "Green Bonds" also Coming to Austria?

At the European Forum Alpbach, Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blümel announced that Austria wants to issue a so-called "green bond" in the first half of 2022. The Ministry of Finance and Federal Financing Agency (OeBFA) have already completed the necessary technical work to issue the bonds. Read more about "green bonds" and Austria's plans to begin issuing them.

September 1, 2021

Importance of Economic Relations Between the United States and Austria

The American Chamber of Commerce in Austria (AmCham Austria) presented a new study on the importance of economic relations between the United States and Austria. AmCham also provided a position paper with five key recommendations to the Austrian Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Dr. Margarete Schramböck and Secretary-General of the Austrian Foreign Ministry Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal. Read about the findings of the study and AmCham's recommendations.

August 23, 2021

City Diplomacy: What Connects the German-Speaking Capitals Berlin, Bern and Vienna

Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller, Mayor of Bern Alec von Graffenried, and Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig met in Vienna to exchange experiences and learn from each other. The three mayors drew up a joint declaration that addressed climate change, affordable housing, economic resiliency from the COVID-19 pandemic, and democracy and the rule of law.

August 19, 2021

Blümel: We Are Continuing to Help Those Businesses That Need It

Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blümel announced that businesses can apply for two types of aid to help mitigate struggles due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. The default bonus II has been adapted and extended until the end of September, and the loss replacement until the end of the year.

August 16, 2021

Arab Ambassadors in Vienna and Economic Relations between their Countries and Austria

The Ambassadors from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Tunisia, and the UAE to Austria provided an economic overview of their countries and their relationship with Austria in an online forum with the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC).

July 11, 2021

Von der Leyen Approves Austrian Economic Comeback in Vienna

During her visit to Vienna, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has delivered the good news that Austria is to receive EUR 3.5 billion worth of EU grants. The budget will be mainly available for investments and reforms in the areas of environmental and digital transformation.

June 22, 2021

GLOBSEC Forum in Slovakia: Heger and Kurz Demand Reforms in Exchange for Economic Aid

At a working meeting and at the GLOBSEC Forum in Bratislava, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz discussed, among other things, the importance of EU's reconstruction fund and how aid should be distributed. Read more below.

June 16, 2021

EU-Wide Minimum Wages: Kurz and Kocher Reluctant

Austria's Chancellor Kurz and Labor Minister Kocher took part at the EU social summit, which dealt with social injustice in all its facets. Among the possible measures to fight injustices, EU-wide minimum wages could be implemented, which would have an enormous impact on the economy.

May 11, 2021

Rating Agencies with Positive Outlook for Austria

Both Standard & Poors and Fitch have affirmed Austria's AA+ rating although noticing Austria's high spending for Covid-19 measures and assuming weaker economic recovery compared to the eurozone. Read more about the reasons for the ratings below.

May 10, 2021

Austria Sees Potential Global Economic Leadership

Only recently, the Austrian government has announced a comprehensive location strategy, which should enable Austria to position itself among global economic leaders in some particular segments.

May 10, 2021

How Austria Plans its Economic Recovery

The Austrian government has submitted its final plan for the European Reconstruction fund, in which projects for economic recovery are listed. These planned measures will receive funding of over EUR 3.5 billion by the EU. Find out what the areas of focus for the investments are.

May 5, 2021

Austrian EU Commissioner Hahn Presents Funding for NextGenerationEU

The Austrian EU Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn has presented the "engine" of the NextGenerationEU economic recovery plan. NextGenerationEU will offer grants and loans to the member states with a total volume of EUR 800 billion by 2026. Austria will receive around EUR 3.5 billion.

April 21, 2021

Extension of Austria's Internationalization Program "go-international" Announced

Austrian Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck and President of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce (WKO) Harald Mahrer extend the joint internationalization offensive "go-international" and provide EUR 25.6 million for the next two years. The funding will focus on the areas of innovation and technology, value chains and digitalization.

April 20, 2021

Austria Increases Turnover Loss Bonus

Companies, which are experiencing significant revenue shortfall due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, can now submit their applications for the Austrian turnover loss bonus for the months of March and April. The total amount available for companies has been increased to EUR 80,000 per month.

April 16, 2021

Austria Works on Comeback Plan for Life After Covid-19

Although the Covid-19 crisis might still be very present currently, the Austrian government already tries to prepare for economic reconstruction. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler have presented a plan, which comprises the primary goals of increasing employment, digitally and ecologically transforming the economy and improving Austria as a business location.

April 13, 2021

Covid-19: Austria Ranks Second for Aid Measures in EU

According to recent calculations published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Austria ranks second for Covid-19 aid measures among all EU Member States. Only Greece has spent a higher portion of its GDP (13.7%) for aid instruments, while Austria invested 11.7 percent to relieve its businesses and people.

April 12, 2021

Austrian Unemployment Decreases in March

The number of unemployed Austrians has decreased significantly in March compared to the previous month. About 56,000 fewer people have been reported unemployed, while the number of people in training at the Austrian Arbeitsmarktservice (AMS) has increased. This is likely due to the recent measure, which provides training priorities in areas where there is a particular demand for qualified workers.

April 7, 2021

European Union Digital Day: Schramböck Demands Digital Growth

At the European Union Digital Day, Austria's Minister for Digitalization Margarete Schramböck signed two declarations that create better framework conditions for start-ups and promote green and digital transformation. Schramböck demanded the use of more digital technologies in order to "secure European jobs and value creation."

March 24, 2021

Austria's Labor Minister Demands More Education and Training Opportunities

At an informal Employment and Social Affairs Council, Austria's Labor Minister Martin Kocher and his EU counterparts were discussing employment and social policies that address the recovery from the current crisis. Kocher emphasizes the need for education and training opportunities, which will proof to be useful for getting back to economic strength.

March 17, 2021

Increase in Financial Aid for Companies in Austria Introduced

Austria's Minister for Finance Gernot Blümel has presented an increase of measures to alleviate companies from the hardships of the Covid-19 crisis. Funding for the turnover loss bonus has been increased and compensation for vacation days during short-time work has been introduced.

March 11, 2021

Austrian Minister for Economics Met German, Swiss and Liechtensteiner Counterpart

At the Quadrilateral Meeting between the Ministers of Economy from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the topics comprised the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on national and international economies, global trade policy and digitalization in Europe's single market system.

March 3, 2021

Austria Enters for the First Time as U.S. Exits Top Ten in Bloomberg's Innovation Index

Austria moves up one place to 10th place in the latest Bloomberg Innovation Index, while the U.S. dropped out of a top 10 that features a cluster of European countries. The Bloomberg index analyzes dozens of criteria using seven equally weighted metrics, including research and development spending, manufacturing capability and concentration of high-tech public companies.

March 2, 2021

Schramböck and Baldwin at International Research Conference

At the research conference hosted by the Research Center International Economics (FIW), Austria's Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck had the opportunity to take part in discussions with the star economist Richard Baldwin and a number of other important representatives of international economics research.

March 1, 2021