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Austrian Foreign Trade News and Analysis

Review of the State Visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Austria

After the visit in March 2016, which was cancelled at short notice, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was on a state visit to Vienna this week, accompanied by massive anti-Iran protests. The aim of the visit was a joint commitment to the Iran nuclear deal after the deal was approved in Vienna three years ago. The visit was overshadowed by a diplomatic case involving an employee of the Iranian embassy in Vienna, who had been arrested last weekend by the German judicial authorities on the basis of a European arrest warrant on suspicion of terrorism.

July 5, 2018

OMV Celebrates 50 Years of Lucrative Natural Gas Business

On 1 June 1968, a historic gas supply contract was signed in Vienna, establishing Austria’s role as a key country in Europe’s natural gas network. The 50-year collaboration with Russia is a win-win situation. Then, as now, natural gas plays a key role in OMV's portfolio, as European demand will continue to increase over the next decades. OMV is Gazprom’s main partner in Austria. The companies cooperate in gas production, transportation and supplies.

June 6, 2018

Putin's Austria Visit: Extension of Gazprom Gas Supply Contract until 2040

OMV has formally confirmed the extension of the gas supply contract with Russia's Gazprom on the occasion of the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Austria by the two CEOs Alexey Miller and Rainer Seele.

June 6, 2018

Vladimir Putin on PR Campaign in Austria

Vladimir Putin is on his sixth official state visit to Austria. Officially, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the gas supply contract between Austria and Russia, this is a working visit to President Van der Bellen and Chancellor Kurz. In fact, a new gas supply contract between Gazprom and OMV is the main reason for the visit. Other gas deals are still in the negotiation phase, namely the Gazprom Urengoy gas field asset swap and the Nordstream 2 pipeline project. The Central European Gas Hub in Baumgarten/Lower Austria, an important gas distribution hub from the Russian perspective, could also be on the agenda.

June 5, 2018

Flight Connection Kuwait-Vienna Carries Arab-Israeli Conflict to Austria

State-owned Kuwait Airways, which will resume operations between Kuwait and Vienna in early June for the summer months, does not carry Israeli citizens. The official reason is a Kuwaiti law from 1964, which bans all companies of the 3.5 million inhabitant oil state from doing business with Israelis.

May 29, 2018

US Termination of the Iran Agreement: Major Effects on Austrian Exports Expected

The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber fears that the Trump decision will have a massive negative impact on the Iran business of Austrian companies. It will probably be extraordinarily difficult in the future to establish the necessary payment channels for legitimate transactions.

May 17, 2018

Austrian Exports to the Palestinian Territories Better than Ever

Despite the current tensions between the State of Palestine and Austria over the participation of Ambassador Martin Weiss in the US Embassy Opening Ceremonies, the Austrian Foreign Trade Centers Amman and Tel Aviv are planning a Fact Finding Mission to Ramallah and Amman for the second half of 2018. Austrian exports of goods to the Palestinian Territories increased by +108% in 2017.

May 17, 2018

Fresh Hallstatt Air Instead of Toxic Chinese Smoke

Tens of thousands of tourists from China meanwhile visit Hallstatt in Upper Austria every year. Two companies now offer healthy Hallstatt air in cans to the Chinese and expanded Asian market. The inhabitants and the municipal council of Hallstatt are not thrilled.

May 11, 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

Takeover of Serbian Sugar Producer Sunoko by Agrana on Hold

The takeover of the Serbian sugar manufacturer Sunoko by the Austrian sugar, starch and fruit manufacturer Agrana has failed due to problems on the European sugar market.

May 4, 2018

OMV Receives Political Support for €1.3 Billion Purchase of Two UAE Oil Fields

An economic delegation led by Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, with the participation of Margarete Schramböck, Minister of Economic Affairs, OMV CEO Rainer Seele and a small delegation had the main objective of supporting OMV in the concession agreement for the acquisition of a 20% stake in two fields offshore Abu Dhabi from ADNOC.

May 4, 2018

New Forum for Deepening German-Austrian Relations: Österreichisch-Deutsches Länderforum

Recently the Österreichisch-Deutsches Länderforum e.V. was founded in Vienna by Dr. Harald Wögerbauer with the intention of offering a platform for deepening German-Austrian relations.

May 2, 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

Doppelmayr to Build Cable Liner at London Airport

At London Luton Airport, Doppelmayr is building a cable car almost two kilometers long with a capacity of 2,720 passengers per hour and per route. This makes Luton Airport the second airport project in the UK after Birmingham for Doppelmayr. The Cable Liner is scheduled to go into operation in April 2021. Doppelmayr does not give details of the project turnover.

April 23, 2018

Minister of Economy Visited Huawei and Alibaba During State Visit to China

Federal Minister of Digitization and Business Location Margarete Schramböck signed an agreement to facilitate access to Chinese trading platforms for Austrian companies during the current state visit to China at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFCOM) in Beijing. Global experience shows, however, that one should be cautious with regard to technical cooperation with Chinese and copyright issues.

April 12, 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

OMV Buys Oilfield Shares in Abu Dhabi for USD 1.5 Bln

Listed oil corporation OMV is acquiring 20 percent of two offshore oil fields in Abu Dhabi from the Abu Dhabi oil group ADNOC. The purchase price for the concession and the associated infrastructure amounts to USD 1.5 billion. OMV has already a long relationship with Abu Dhabi. OMV opened a representation office in Abu Dhabi in 2007. Today Abu Dhabi is the location of the Business Hub for OMV´s Upstream Middle East & Africa activities.

April 6, 2018

FACC Achieves Sales Record of EUR 750.7 Mln in 2017/18

FACC, the Sino-Austrian aircraft component manufacturer generated preliminary sales of 750.7 million euros, and the order backlog increased to US$ 5.9 billion. On March 19, FACC entered the ATX, Austria's leading index on the Vienna Prime Market, and has since been one of the 25 largest and most traded companies in Austria.

April 4, 2018

80th Anniversary of Mexico’s Protest Against Anschluss of Austria to Hitler-Germany

On 19 March 1938 Mexico submitted a note of protest to the League of Nations against the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany (known as “Anschluss”). At that time Mexico was the only member of the League of Nations to issue a written protest.

March 21, 2018

TTTech Sets Up Joint Venture in Shanghai to Deploy Key Technology for Autonomous Driving Cars in China

The Vienna-based technology company TTTech and China's largest automotive group Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) announced a joint venture with the intention to produce an Intelligent Driving Central Controller (iECU), which will be installed on the first China-made intelligent driving vehicle later this year. TTTech holds 49.9 percent in the new joint venture.

March 15, 2018

Austrian Delegation Seeks to Improve Economic and Political Relations with Jordan

An official visit of President Van der Bellen to Jordan will take place from 17 April to 19 April 2018. The delegation to Amman will be accompanied by an economic mission headed by WKO Vice President Richard Schenz. The economic mission of the WKO is the response of an invitation issued some time ago by the President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Kingdom.

March 8, 2018

Trevor Traina Looks Forward to Become the United States Ambassador to Austria

Today Mr. Trevor Traina testified before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Nomination Hearing. If confirmed, Mr. Traina is to become the next Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Austria. Traina: I am humbled to be President Trumps nominee to be the United States Ambassador to Austria. If confirmed, his grandmother, who just celebrated her hundredth birthday and who is the widow of his late grandfather Wiley T. Buchanan Jr. (who also served as U.S. ambassador to Austria), would have the confusing honor of being the wife and the grandmother of the Ambassador to Austria.

March 1, 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

Rosenbauer: Preliminary Figures 2017

Rosenbauer is reporting EBIT of EUR 25.6 million for the 2017 financial year (2016: EUR 47.0 million). In particular, the decline in the Group's earnings is due to the decreased delivery volume in 2017 as a result of the low price of oil and ongoing political conflicts. This led to weak capacity utilization in some production areas.

February 13, 2018

Indian Ministry of Railways Discusses India-Austria Railway Cooperations

The Indian Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhu paid a visit to Austria. In an event organized by the Chamber of Commerce H.E. Mr. Prabhu met with CEOs and Austrian Railway Companies to discuss possible further India-Austria cooperations in the field of railways technology.

July 21, 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

Best Gaming Technology Acquired by Rival Playtech

Vienna-based maker of software for self-service betting terminals Best Gaming Technology (BGT) has been acquired by UK gambling software group Playtech for €138m. Playtech holds the option to purchase the remaining shares for up to €55m from Armin Sageder, the company’s founder and chief executive.

July 14, 2016

Austrian Post's Turkish Subsidiary in Conflict with Majority Owner

Post AG is involved in a buyback conflict regarding the Turkish subsidiary. Post took over a 25-percent stake in Turkish parcel delivery service Aras Kargo in 2013; it had been granted an option to buy another 50 percent of the shares. The company has been negotiating to use the option for a year now, but has been unable to reach a compromise.

July 5, 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

What Brexit Means for Austria: Mitterlehner, Kurz, Fiat Steyr

Mitterlehner hopes that the referendum will end in Britain staying in the EU. Kurz says, that Brexit would be terrible. Fiat could relocate production of agriculture and construction machine maker CNH (Case New Holland) from UK to Steyr in case of Brexit.

June 20, 2016

Novomatic Takeover of Australian Rival Delayed

The planned investment of the Lower-Austrian gambling group Novomatic in the Australian rival Ainsworth Game Technology has been delayed. Ainsworth will postpone general assembly scheduled for June 3 by up to 30 days. It is at the meeting that shareholders are supposed to approve the deal.

May 25, 2016

175 International Businesses Relocated to Vienna

According to the Vienna Business Agency, last year a total of 175 international businesses relocated to Vienna. Compared to the previous year, the result of 159 relocations was further improved. Compared to the other federal states, Vienna was able to attract almost five times more international businesses than the second-placed Carinthia, which, according to statistics of the Ministry of Economy, recorded 36 new businesses, followed by Salzburg (25), Tyrol (20), and Lower Austria (18).

April 21, 2016

India-Austria Bilateral Foreign Trade Volume Increases to EUR 1.40 Billion

Last year was a very good year for India-Austria foreign trade. Experiencing a much faster growth rate than Austria’s overall trade, Austria imported items amounting to EUR 702 million from India and exported a volume amounting EUR 700 million to India.

April 20, 2016

AUA Started Flights to Shanghai, Tokyo Will Be Removed

The initial Austrian Airlines flight to Shanghai took off from Vienna yesterday. AUA will terminate the connection to Tokyo as of September 4 and will rather bet again on Chinese destinations. The economic slowdown of the Japanese economy made the Vienna-Tokyo route unprofitable. Instead AUA starts with five weekly flights to Shanghai on a Boeing 777.

April 7, 2016

Linz-Based Unit of Bilfinger Delivers EUR 10 Mln Pipe System to Egypt

Bilfinger VAM, a Linz-based unit of German construction firm, will enjoy a capacity utilisation until autumn thanks to the contract for a pipe system in Egypt, the company said. The firm shares the EUR 10 million (USD 11.3 million) deal with another Bilfinger unit.

April 7, 2016

Voestalpine Acquires Specialty Steel Firms in Shanghai and Barcelona

Voestalpine steel buys two specialty steel firms. With the purchase of Advanced Tooling Tek (ATT) in Shanghai, China, and the Sermetal Group in Barcelona, Spain, Voestalpine is enhancing its position as a producer of special steels. Both companies are specialized in the processing and sale of special steel products for tool and mold-making, a segment whose main customers are the automotive and electronics industries. Together ATT and the Sermetal Group have around 160 employees and generated a total revenue of around EUR 43 million in 2015.

April 7, 2016

RBI Not to Sell Zuno Bank to ABH Holdings

The sale of Raiffeisen Bank International’s (RBI) direct bank Zuno to the Alfa Banking Group will not be concluded because ABH Holdings withdrew from the contract of sale.

March 1, 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

Siemens Austria Builds World's Largest Metro Project in Saudi Arabia

The Austrian unit of Siemens announced in Vienna Simmering at the rollout of the first vehicle that a "a very, very big order” has been secured. With six lines and a total route length of 175 kilometers, the capital of Saudi Arabia Riyadh is planning the world's largest subway project. Siemens is to supply the entire turnkey system for two driverless metro lines.

February 24, 2016

Austrian Business Delegation to Visit India - Results

Austria's business delegation has returned from a five-day visit to India. What did they achieve?

February 23, 2016

Erste Group Provides Blackstone with a 5-Year EUR 91 Million Facility

Erste Group provides Blackstone with a 5-year EUR 91 million facility to acquire 12 logistics assets. The 265000 sqm portfolio covers 12 standing logistics investments located in Hungary (5), Romania (4), Poland (2) and Slovakia (1), as well as land reserves.

February 22, 2016

UniCredit Bank Austria Named Best Trade Finance Bank in Austria

US financial magazine Global Finance selected Bank Austria for the eighth time in a row "Best Trade Finance Bank" in Austria.

January 21, 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

Austrian-Russian Friendship Society to Appoint Richard Schenz as New President

Dr. Richard Schenz has recently been appointed as new President of the Austrian-Russian Friendship Society (ORFG - Österreichisch-Russische Freundschaftsgesellschaft). He succeeds CEO Ludwig Scharinger who left office for health reasons. KR Sen.hc Richard Schenz is a Vice President of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO). He was formerly CEO of OMV and Capital Markets Advisor to the Austrian Minister of Finance.

December 22, 2015

RBI Sells Slovenian Subsidiary to US Private Equity Firm Apollo

Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) has reached an agreement to sell its Slovenian bank, Raiffeisen Banka d.d., to Biser Bidco, which is managed by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management, LLC. The purchase price has not been disclosed. The expected deconsolidation effect on RBI’s consolidated result will amount to minus EUR 49 million.

December 10, 2015

India Forum at the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce

Recently the Foreign Trade Department of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber organised an event focused on India. Entitled “Parameters for Your Success with Business in India”, the event counted with the participation of ca. 70 Austrian companies and entrepreneurs aiming for India or potentially being interested in doing business there.

December 3, 2015

Constantia Flexibles Acquires SE Asian Labels Producer Pemara

Constantia Flexibles Group strengthens its position in the Southeast Asia labels market by acquiring the Australian company Pemara Labels Group. The parties agreed not to disclose any financial details and the transaction is expected to close in the next few months. Pemara operates four plants in Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, along with sales offices in Sydney (Australia) and Manila (Philippines).

December 1, 2015