Austrian Economic Policy News and Analysis

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

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

Real Estate Prices in Austria Increased: Housing Increasingly Less Affordable

The cost of residential real estate in Austria has risen dramatically in recent years, significantly affecting affordability for many households. According to a recent analysis conducted by UniCredit Bank Austria, residential property prices in the euro area have risen faster than incomes. Austria has been particularly affected by this development, where property prices have actually fallen by almost 40 percent compared with incomes.

August 31, 2023

Timetable Chaos for Rail Travel in Europe: A Step Backwards

The idea of cross-border rail travel across Europe sounds tempting, but the reality is often different. Despite the expansion of night trains, the situation for rail travelers in 2023 has not improved as hoped.

August 22, 2023

Mowing Sheep Enrich Flora and Fauna of Vienna's Danube Island

As part of a pioneering EU project, the Danube Island's new and gentle inhabitants have proven to be surprisingly efficient lawnmowers. Around 70 sheep find a temporary home on the Danube Island during the summer months. As natural lawnmowers, they help to revitalize the island's flora and fauna and promote biodiversity.

August 21, 2023

Vietnam and UN Strengthen Collaboration on Commercial Law Reforms

In a move to enhance cooperation between Vietnam and the United Nations, a significant memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam and the secretariat of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

August 21, 2023

Austria's Consumer Protection Ministry Mandates Action Against Banks for Low Interest Rates

According to the Consumer Protection Ministry, the practice of Austrian banks of charging high-interest rates on overdrafts while granting no interest at all on credit balances is meeting with growing resentment among consumers.

August 16, 2023

Ukraine Secures Grain Export through Croatian Adriatic Ports

Ukraine has reached an agreement with Croatia to export grain through ports on the Adriatic Sea. The agricultural goods are to be shipped to Croatia via the Danube and from there they will be transported further to the Adriatic coast.

August 1, 2023

Austria's Successful Green Budgeting and Emission Reduction Efforts

The Climate Team, newly established in the Austrian Ministry of Finance, has presented essential results and analyses in recent months to bring Austria closer to the goal of a cost-effective and socially acceptable transformation in climate protection. In fact, the European Commission, OECD, and World Bank have all recognized Austrian green budgeting as a best practice.

July 30, 2023

Austrian Minister of Social Affairs Travels to Moldova for Working Visit

In an official trip, the Austrian Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Johannes Rauch, visits the Republic of Moldova to negotiate bilaterally with Moldovan ministerial counterparts and representatives of WHO, EU, and NGOs.

July 26, 2023

"Wiener Gusto" in the Final for the EU Organic Awards 2023

Vienna is a proud finalist in this year's EU Organic Awards in the category "Best Organic City" thanks to its city-owned food brand "Wiener Gusto".

July 25, 2023

PÜSPÖK and UNESCO: Empowering Climate Action through Nature Conservation and Renewable Energy

The Austrian company PÜSPÖK, a rapidly growing company in the field of renewable energies, is actively committed to climate, environmental, and nature protection. By supporting the initiative "Klimapartnerschaft.at", PÜSPÖK is committed to the preservation and protection of the largest primeval forest remnant in the Alpine arc, the UNESCO World Natural Heritage "Wilderness Area Dürrenstein-Lassingtal", thus contributing to the protection of a rare ecosystem and unique biodiversity.

July 25, 2023

Plants as Climate-Friendly Air Conditioning: City of Vienna Promotes Greening of Buildings

The positive effect of green buildings on the climate is undisputed. To promote the implementation of green buildings, the City of Vienna provides generous subsidies of up to € 20,200. Interested parties can obtain free advice on this subject from Eco Counselling (DIE UMWELTBERATUNG) in Vienna.

July 23, 2023

Salzburg Summit: International Conference Brings Together Top Politicians, Scientists and Business Leaders

July 26, 2023, marks the start of the 4th Salzburg Summit, a high-profile international business and future conference that will take place on the fringes of the renowned Salzburg Festival. The event will be formally opened by EU Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn and the President of the Federation of Austrian Industries (IV), Georg Knill. In light of recent global challenges, including a war on European soil and the global COVID-19 pandemic, the summit is dedicated to the goal of a sustainable future for Europe amid uncertainty.

July 23, 2023

State Secretary Tursky Emphasizes Goal of European Chip Sovereignty at Austrian Company AT&S

During his visit to Leoben, Florian Tursky, the State Secretary for Digitization and Telecommunications at the Ministry of Finance, was given an insight into the new research and production center of the global high-tech group AT&S, which is currently being realized at the company's headquarters.

July 19, 2023

Austrian Government Aims to Increase Skilled Immigration and Address Labor Shortages

The Austrian government, led by Economy and Labor Minister Martin Kocher, plans to attract a minimum of 15,000 skilled workers from non-EU countries to Austria annually by 2027 through the Red White Red card (Rot-Weiß-Rot Karte) program.

July 18, 2023

OMV's Polyolefins Business Cooperation: Concerns Raised as Greens Question Borealis' Future

Austrian energy company OMV has decided to pursue negotiations with ADNOC, the state-owned oil company of the United Arab Emirates, on potential cooperation of their polyolefins business. This reinforces certain concerns of the critical voices on the OMV-ADNOC deal.

July 16, 2023

Austria on the Way to Innovation Leader in the European Innovation Scoreboard 2023

Austria has improved to sixth place in this year's European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) and is thus on the right track to becoming an innovation leader.

July 13, 2023

OMV Secures Additional European Gas Transmission and Pipeline Capacities until 2028

The listed oil and gas group OMV has successfully secured additional European gas transport capacities and gas pipeline capacities. This measure serves to secure Austria's gas supply and enables OMV to meet its delivery obligations in the medium term.

July 12, 2023

Franco-Austrian Cooperation for Clean Water in Eastern Europe

France's Ambassador to Austria, Gilles Pécout, spearheaded a round table discussion in Vienna as part of the "EU4Environment-Water Resources and Environmental Data" program. This initiative, funded by the European Union, the Austrian Development Agency, and the Artois-Picardie Water Agency (France), aims to support Eastern Partnership countries in their journey towards European standards for water resources and environmental data management.

July 5, 2023

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Strengthens Economic Ties with Austria During First Europe Trip

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah met for working talks with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg in Vienna. The visit of the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister to Vienna underlines the interest of both countries in further strengthening economic relations and intensifying cooperation at the geopolitical level.

July 4, 2023

Austria and Portugal Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation

Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg received his Portuguese counterpart João Gomes Cravinho for a meeting in Vienna. The talks focused on intensifying political and economic cooperation and strengthening foreign policy cooperation between the two countries. Furthermore, they emphasized the unity of the EU member states in the face of the Russian war of aggression and exchanged views on the situation in the Western Balkans.

July 2, 2023

Austria Stresses Need in Fight Against Illegal Migration Despite Rejection of Higher EU Budget

Dealing with irregular migration, increasing the EU budget as well as foreign and economic policy considerations were the focus of the Parliament's EU Main Committee today. Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer reiterated his opposition to a higher EU budget, but at the same time stressed the great need for funding in the fight against illegal migration.

June 28, 2023

European Movement Austria Presents Reform Ideas for the EU Single Market

Europe has achieved a level of prosperity that no previous generation has experienced. The EU Single Market, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is the key to this success. The future of the Single Market was the focus of a panel discussion of the European Movement Austria (EBÖ) at THE LEO GRAND in Vienna.

June 27, 2023

European Forum Wachau: Building a Resilient, Green, and Competitive Europe

The event under the general theme "Building a Resilient, Green and Competitive Europe" takes place for the 27th time. This year, the Europa Forum Wachau invited top-class guests to discuss the most important European issues. Among others also the topic of illegal migration, the war in Ukraine, and the Euro-integration of the Western Balkan states.

June 25, 2023

OMV Gives Final Investment Decision for Gas Project in Romania

OMV announced the final investment decision by OMV Petrom, the largest integrated energy company in Southeast Europe, for the Neptune Deep natural gas production development project.

June 22, 2023

OPEC and Non-OPEC Participating Countries Agree on Crude Oil Production Adjustments

In a bid to maintain stability in the oil market, OPEC and non-OPEC Participating Countries have announced key decisions during the 35th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting held in Vienna. The meeting emphasized the commitment to achieving a stable oil market and providing long-term guidance for the industry.

June 19, 2023

Preliminary Presentation in Vienna of UN Study Results on Fast Fashion and Old Clothes

The Austrian-based foundation COMÚN and the Chilean study author, Beatriz O'Brien, exclusively show the disastrous consequences of "waste colonialism" in research ordered by the UN in the run-up to the "Austrian Consumer Dialogues: Textiles".

June 19, 2023

Austrian National Bank Publishes Macroeconomic Forecast for 2023 to 2025

According to the published forecast of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB), the Austrian economy is expected to pick up speed in the second half of 2023, with GDP growing by 0.5 percent in 2023. Accelerated growth of 1.7 percent is forecast for 2024. Although HICP inflation will fall steadily after the highs at the beginning of the year, it will still be above average at 2.9 percent in 2025.

June 18, 2023

Research Presentation: Western Balkans 20 Years after the EU Summit in Thessaloniki

On Friday, June 30, 2023, at 09:00, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw), together with prominent politicians from Austria and the Balkans, will present their new study on the EU's geo-economic influence in the Western Balkans. The event will take place in the Reitersaal of the Oesterreichische Kontrollbank in Vienna.

June 15, 2023

NEFI Study Shows Paths to Climate-Neutral Industry in Austria

A recent study by the innovation network NEFI - New Energy for Industry has provided important impetus for a climate-neutral future for Austrian industry. In 2021, the domestic manufacturing industry was responsible for more than one-third of the total CO2 emissions in Austria. The NEFI experts have now developed three scenarios that show concrete ways to transform the industrial energy system.

June 11, 2023

Vienna Business Agency and Climate Lab For Sustainable Economic Development

Since its founding in September 2022, the Climate Lab has strived to achieve Austria's climate neutrality targets and the goals of the Austrian circular economy strategy as quickly as possible through innovative collaborations and alliances.

June 4, 2023

New Unitary Patent Paves the Way for Innovative Companies in Europe

As of June 1, 2023, a unitary patent (unitary patent) will be introduced that will be valid in most member states of the European Union. Austria already ranks eighth in the EU for future technologies.

June 1, 2023

Austrian National Bank: Monetary Policy Strategies Must Act

In his speech at the opening of this year's Economics Conference, Austria's National Bank - Governor Robert Holzmann shed light on the importance of a robust and resilient monetary policy in uncertain times. Given the recent financial market turmoil, he stressed that monetary policy strategies must not remain empty words and that the instruments must work.

May 24, 2023

Austria Shows Interest in Developing the Railroad Infrastructure to the Slovenian Port of Koper

Despite expansion projects, rail capacity remains limited compared to road. The seaport in Koper, Slovenia, which is important for Austria, is an example of current efforts in rail expansion, but at the same time shows the limits of rail-bound freight transport. With regard to Koper, Austrian experts emphasized the importance of an efficient rail connection for freight traffic.

May 24, 2023

European Ministers of Serbia and Austria Emphasize the Importance of Relations

During her working visit to Belgrade, Austrian Minister for European Affairs Karoline Edtstadler met with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and her ministerial colleague Tanja Miščević.

May 22, 2023

Austrian Business Leaders and Government Officials Discuss Economic Ties with South Korea

The President of Austrian Chamber of Commerce Harald Mahrer welcomed South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo. South Korea will be a global hotspot for future technologies of central importance for Austria.

May 14, 2023

India and Austria Sign Migration and Mobility Agreement

In a significant development, Austria and India have signed a comprehensive Migration and Mobility Partnership agreement to strengthen cooperation on legal migration and repatriation.

May 14, 2023

Vienna Stock Exchange Reports High Profits for Third-Year Running

Vienna's stock exchange, Wiener Börse AG, has announced high profits for the third year in a row, despite the turbulent economic environment of 2022. Vienna's stock exchange plans to continue its focus on consistent market modeling and alignment with international standards and is calling on the government to act to take advantage of the capital market's potential as a powerful lever.

May 10, 2023

Political Support for Southern Hydrogen Corridor: Austria, Germany, and Italy Sign Joint Letter

The Southern Hydrogen Corridor, developed by major European transmission system operators, aims to connect North Africa, Italy, Austria, and Germany to supply important European demand clusters with competitive renewable hydrogen.

May 10, 2023

Austrian and Costa Rican Foreign Ministers Celebrate 150 Years of Diplomatic Relations

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, Dr. Arnoldo André, met with his Austrian counterpart, Alexander Schallenberg, to discuss a broad agenda of bilateral and multilateral issues in the context of the celebration of 150 years of diplomatic relations between both countries.

May 9, 2023

Austria's Foreign Disaster Fund is Increased

Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg have praised the increase of the Foreign Disaster Fund (AKF) to 77.5 million euros in 2023 before the Council of Ministers.

May 4, 2023

Trilateral Meeting Discussed Energy Transition and Energy Innovation

A trilateral conference was held at the Technical University of Vienna, where Italian, French, and Austrian energy actors discussed the topics of energy innovation and the energy transition. The discussion panels included topics such as the role of gas and nuclear power in European decarbonization, the importance of renewable energy sources, and the potential of solar energy in Europe.

May 3, 2023

Austrian President Van der Bellen Welcomes Slovenia's First Female President on Inaugural Visit

The new Slovenian President, Nataša Pirc Musar, paid her inaugural visit to Vienna, where she was welcomed by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen with military honors. "It is an honor to receive today in Vienna the first female head of state of Slovenia," Van der Bellen said.

May 2, 2023

German-Speaking Foreign Ministers Discuss International Trouble Spots in Salzburg

The German-speaking Foreign Ministers Alexander Schallenberg from Austria, Annalena Baerbock from Germany, Dominique Hasler from Liechtenstein, Jean Asselborn from Luxembourg, and Ignazio Cassis from Switzerland met to discuss global and European challenges.

May 2, 2023