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Business Indicator: Economic Activity Remains Sluggish - Revival Only in Course of Year

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. The Austrian economy is making no headway at present after the mild improvement in the economic climate at the start of the year. The Bank Austria Business Indicator remained at exactly zero points in February after a modest increase in the previous month. The current economic situation is thus somewhat more favourable than towards the end of the previous year, but the local economy still lacks momentum as of March 2015.

April 1, 2015

Austria to Support China's "Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank"?

The Austrian Finance Ministry confirmed that Austria will participate in the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) project after receiving the appropriate approval from the government. Now it checks for a potential engagement. China is taking matters into its own hands. It will use the new bank to expand its influence at the expense of America and Japan. Its decision to fund a new multilateral bank reflects its frustration with the slow pace of global economic governance reform. China is the biggest economy in Asia, but the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is still dominated by the Japanese: Japan’s voting share is twice China’s and the ADB’s president has always been Japanese. Also, reforms to give China more say at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been delayed for years.

March 27, 2015

Austrian Export Day 2015 - Tomorrow is Today: Meet Trade Delegates at the Exporttag

On June 30, 2015, from 10am to 5pm the Export Day (Exporttag 2015) of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO) will take place in Vienna. Economic delegates from all over the world will be present.

March 27, 2015

Background: The New "Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank"

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is regarded by some as a rival for the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which are regarded as dominated by developed countries like the United States. AIIB is an international financial institution proposed by the government of China. The purpose of the multilateral development bank is to provide finance to infrastructure projects in the Asia region. Austria recently said, that it is "positive" and that it "now checks for a potential engagement".

March 27, 2015

Germanwings Flight 9525 was a Suicide Mission

According to the latest reports, suicide and mass murder by the co-pilot explains the deaths of 150 people aboard Germanwings flight 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. There is clear evidence that 27-year-old German co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately locked the pilot out of the cockpit and then began with the Airbus A320 a constant, unauthorized and deadly descent. Brice Robin, the public prosecutor from Marseille told a press conference that the first officer had locked the captain out of the cockpit and set the controls of the Airbus for a rapid descent and the eventual crash into the French Alps. The Aviation Safety Network has published a list of aircraft accidents caused by pilot suicide (see below).

March 26, 2015 · Updated: March 26, 2015; 18:30

International Jihadism Conference in Vienna: "Tackling Jihadism Together"

Ministers from Austria, the Western Balkans & Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos gathered in Vienna to tackle Jihadism. Austrian FM Kurz: "Tackling Jihadism is an urgent task for all of us - we're in this together!" Avramopoulos: "Need to transform common will into common action".

March 20, 2015

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug to Visit Vienna

The Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, Alexander Hug, will visit Vienna, Austria, on 5-6 March.

March 5, 2015

Global Peace Index: Austria is Third Most Peaceful Country

The latest Global Peace Index analyses the state of peace around the world. It identifies the most and least peaceful countries, trends in violence and conflict, and calculates the economic impact of violence. The top three most peaceful countries are Iceland, Denmark and Austria. Small and stable democracies make up the top ten most peaceful countries. New Zealand, Canada and Japan are the only non-European countries in the top ten.

March 4, 2015

OSCE Chief Observer at the Russian Checkpoints to Visit Headquarter in Vienna

Paul Picard, Chief OSCE Observer at the Russian Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk will address the OSCE Permanent Council. He will report on the situation including movements across the Russian-Ukrainian border at the Russian checkpoints at Gukovo and Donetsk.

February 25, 2015

Finance Ministry: "Fitch Downgrade has no Impact on Austria Rating"

In response to the rating announcement by rating agency Fitch, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance says, that the current Fitch rating has no impact on the Austria rating due to temporary debt increase.

February 20, 2015

Austrian Government Guarantees Stand at EUR 112.9 bn

Newly collected data by Statistics Austria on State guarantees (governmental contingent liabilities, potential obligations and assets) show guarantees of €112.9 bn at the end of 2013 (of which 52% are granted by the state and local government sectors).

February 10, 2015

Japanese Mizuho Bank Sets Up Office in Vienna

Mizuho Bank through its Dutch subsidiary has acquired the approval to open a branch in Vienna. The bank is looking to develop its business in CEE. Simultaneously the Bank signed a memorandum of understanding with the Austrian Business Agency for services in connection with the setup.

January 28, 2015

Holocaust Memorial Day: "European Jews again feeling anxious and uncertain about their future"

As people across the OSCE region commemorated the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, officials highlighted the importance for societies to stand firmly against the contemporary challenges of anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of intolerance.

January 28, 2015

Vienna as a Business Location - The City at a Glance

Vienna combines tradition, culture and quality of life with the factors of a top business location in a unique way. A stable political and economic environment, a research and technology-friendly climate, geographical and cultural proximity to the growth markets in the east and, not least, the highest quality of life in the world provide for a place at the very top of the world’s rankings.

January 27, 2015

Does Abdullah's Death Improve Interreligious Dialogue?

Saudi King Abdullah is dead. Continuity is assured as Crown Prince Salman succeeds brother to the throne. Saudi Arabia is repeatedly being criticised for human rights violations. The case of internet activist Badawi caused in Vienna calls for the closure of the late King Abdullah Center for Interreligious Dialogue.

January 23, 2015

Celebrating 200 Years of the Congress of Vienna

Europe was reorganized at the Congress of Vienna exactly 200 years ago. Numerous princes, kings and two emperors gathered by the Danube for the negotiations. Two exiting exhibitions now provide insights into the events of 1814/15.

January 23, 2015

OSCE Permanent Council Prepares for Upcoming International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Holocaust remembrance was the focus of today's meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council at Vienna's Hofburg in light of the upcoming International Holocaust Remembrance Day (27 January).

January 22, 2015

Vienna as a Business Location - Areas of Strength

Vienna combines tradition, culture and quality of life with the factors of a top business location in a unique way. A stable political and economic environment, a research and technology-friendly climate, geographical and cultural proximity to the growth markets in the east and, not least, the highest quality of life in the world provide for a place at the very top of the world’s rankings.

January 22, 2015

ECB Unleashes Quantitative Easing - How does it work?

Today, the ECB finally commenced on a large scale sovereign bond-buying programme. The €60bn monthly asset purchases include covered bonds and asset backed securities. Due to the flood of cheap money, the DAX was boosted. The index increased by up to one per cent to a record high of 10,399.67 points. Quantitative easing is a monetary policy where a central bank creates new money electronically to buy financial assets. The aim is to stimulate an economy when standard monetary policy has become ineffective. How does it work?

January 22, 2015

George Soros: "A New Policy to Rescue Ukraine"

Soros is calling on members of the European Union to behave as countries indirectly at war with Russia and to provide Ukraine with $50 billion to defend itself and kick-start political reforms. Russian President Vladimir Putin's imperial ambition has unintentionally brought into being a new Ukraine that is adamantly opposed to endemic corruption and inefficient government. By offering assistance, Europe can foster an open society in Ukraine and protect itself from Russian aggression.

January 22, 2015

Bandion Ortner Resigns from her Post at the Abdullah Center

It was the domestic political bombshell of the weekend: Ex-ÖVP Justice Minister Claudia Bandion-Ortner announced her withdrawal as the executive vice president of the controversial Abdullah Center in Vienna.

January 19, 2015

Austria has EU-Wide Most Franc Loans

In absolute terms, Austria has the most franc foreign currency loans in the European Union.

January 19, 2015

Ivica Dačić in Vienna: Serbia Takes Over OSCE Chairmanship from Switzerland

The new OSCE Chairperson, Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, spoke today at the inaugural Permanent Council meeting of Serbia's OSCE Chairmanship Vienna. He revealed his Chairmanship priorities pledging to rebuild trust and confidence in the OSCE region of 57 participating states.

January 15, 2015

"Together Against Terror": Commemorative Event at the Vienna Ballhausplatz

More than 10,000 people gathered in Vienna as part of the commemoration of the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

January 13, 2015

State Holding ÖIAG to be Renamed ÖBIB

Austrian state holding ÖIAG is going to be turned into a limited liability company (GesmbH) called "ÖBIB" Österreichische Bundes- und Industriebeteiligungsholding, which will be permitted to make new acquisitions and which will report directly to the Finance Ministry.

January 13, 2015

Serbian Foreign Minister Dačić to Visit Vienna

The new OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Serbian Foreign Minister Dačić will visit Vienna on Thursday. He will outline the Serbian Chairmanship’s priorities to the OSCE Permanent Council*.

January 13, 2015

Carl Bildt: "The cohesion of the EU is the most important objective to achieve"

How Europe should react to the surrounding areas of conflict in East and South, was debated on Sunday. More realism, less idealism for the European Union is what Ivan Krastev, Fyodor Lukyanov, Carl Bildt and Ana Palacio concluded on Sunday at the Burgtheater in Vienna.

January 12, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry at the OSCE Ministerial Plenary Session

"It is not our design or desire that we see a Russia isolated through its own actions. In fact, we are convinced that Moscow could rebuild trust and relationships if it simply helps to calm turbulent waters, if it takes steps now to implement the Minsk protocol."

December 5, 2014

Klaus Iohannis - Who is the New President of Romania?

On November 16th, Klaus Iohannis was elected the fifth President of Romania. He is due to take office on 22 December. His presidential campaign focused on fighting corruption and on improving the justice system. Klaus Werner Iohannis is a Romanian politician, born 13 June 1959. He was elected the fifth President of Romania on 16 November 2014 (age 55). He became leader of the National Liberal Party in 2014, after having served as leader of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania from 2002 to 2013.

November 17, 2014

World Leaders Met in Vienna to Adopt 10 Year Action-Plan for Landlocked Developing Countries

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a 10 year action-plan aimed at accelerating sustainable development in the world’s 32 landlocked developing countries (LLDCs). A Business and Investment Forum was organized as an integral part of the 2nd United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries with the aim of exchanging views on the challenges and opportunities faced by LLDCs and to discuss possible partnerships and strategies in regards to the role of the private sector in the overall sustainable development of LLDCs. Also, Conchita Wurst performed live at the UN in Vienna for tolerance and mutual respect.

November 7, 2014

Human Trafficking: Ban Ki-moon Attendes UN Trust Fund for Victims Event in Vienna

The UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons received a US$ 250,000 boost in donations from the private sector at a fund-raising event in Vienna, attended by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Proceeds from the event will go directly to grassroots organizations that rescue, shelter and reintegrate victims into society.

November 7, 2014

UN's Lakshmi Puri on Enhancing Women's Share in Peace and Security: "This is a historic moment!"

At the Austrian Parliament a high-level panel of international politicians and prominent activists have discussed significant achievements and major obstacles in the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda. The speakers included Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, Ursula Plassnik, former Austrian Foreign Minister, Lakshmi Puri, the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, May Chidiac of the Chidiac Foundation and Hanan Ashrawi, PLO Executive Committee Member.

November 4, 2014

How to Set-up a Limited Liability Company (GmbH) in Austria

There are a number of important considerations for investors when deciding on how to setup a Limited Liability Company (GmbH) in Austria.

November 3, 2014

How to Set-up a Partnership (OG) or Limited Partnership Company (KG) in Austria

Company founders will generally need to choose between establishing a new company, registering as a foreign company or acquiring an existing company. If establishing a new business, a variety of business structures are available, each with their own regulatory and tax considerations. Businesses may also need to establish their identity through a trade mark, online and/or physical presence. Vindobona will provide a series of articles to allow investors to make the choices most appropriate to the nature of their business.

October 27, 2014

How to Set-up a Sole Proprietorship Company in Austria

There are a number of important considerations for startups when deciding on how to enter the local market or when establishing a business in Austria. Founders will generally need to choose between establishing a new company, registering as a foreign company or acquiring an existing company. If establishing a new business, a variety of business structures are available, each with their own regulatory and tax considerations. Businesses may also need to establish their identity through a trade mark, online and/or physical presence. Vindobona will provide a series of articles to allow investors to make the choices most appropriate to the nature of their business.

October 20, 2014

Speech by Austrian Foreign Minister Kurz at the UN General Assembly

Following is the recent speech by Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz on the occasion of the 69th UN General Assembly. Vindobona believes that this is a brilliant speech, which shows how a neutral country like Austria can make a constructive contribution to the solution of pressing international challenges.

October 17, 2014

Lower Austria's Ecoplus International Celebrates 10 Years and 1500 Executed Projects

The EU's eastward enlargement brought Lower Austria into the center of a new, dynamic economic area. In order to make use of the chances which emerged for the lower Austrian economy, Ecoplus International GmbH in cooperation with the Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien was set up. 10 years later the subsidiary has already overseen 1500 projects.

October 16, 2014

Dispute at OMV Supervisory Board

Listed oil and gas group OMV and the state holding ÖIAG are involved in a dispute concerning a new executive board member of OMV. A decision is expected during the supervisory board meeting slated for Tuesday.

October 13, 2014

Update: Enquiry into TTIP and CETA Agreements

Details about the negotiation progress at Austria’s National Assembly have meanwhile been released. The Transatlantic Agreement CETA with Canada and the TTIP agreement with the USA have been cause for disagreements. The assembly has adopted a motion for resolution of the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) concerning the transatlantic economic agreements with Canada (CETA) and the USA (TTIP). The motion calls for transparency of negotiations and ratification of the agreements by national parliaments.

September 25, 2014

Ederer Elected as Supervisory Board President of ÖBB Austrian Railways

A few days after her resignation from the ÖIAG Supervisory Board the former Siemens manager Brigitte Ederer was elected unanimously to the top of the ÖBB Supervisory Board.

September 11, 2014

Investment Opportunities: Moscow - Viennese Economic Talks in Vienna

Within the framework of the "Moscow Days in Vienna", an Economic Forum on economic, investment and technological cooperation "Moscow - Vienna 2014 Synergy - New Opportunities for Growth" was held in the Chamber of Commerce of Vienna.

September 11, 2014

Poland's Donald Tusk to Become European Council President

Current council president Herman Van Rompuy tweeted the announcement from the EU summit. Mr Tusk, Poland's centre-right prime minister since 2007, will become the European Council's president. Italy's Federica Mogherini, a centre-left politician and foreign minister will replace the UK's Catherine Ashton as EU foreign policy chief.

August 30, 2014

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird Visits Austria and The Balkans

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that he will visit Croatia, Serbia and Albania. The visit to the Balkans comes after Baird spoke about Ukraine and other global security issues at a high-level forum in Salzburg, organized by the International Peace Institute and the Salzburg Global Seminar.

August 27, 2014

Mitterlehner Replaces Spindelegger as Party Head and Vice Chancellor

Yesterday evening Reinhold Mitterlehner has been elected by the ÖVP board as new party chairman and vice chancellor. Spindelegger himself had left the party headquarters shortly before. The decision in the ÖVP board was unanimous. He is supposed to lead the party out of the crisis. His first statement after the designation on Tuesday evening was: "We must close ranks." He now wants to discuss in which direction to proceed with the tax reform. A political decision will fall but only in the fall.

August 27, 2014

Austrian Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger Quits

Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger resigned today after eight months in office, the reason are differences within the People's Party (ÖVP) on debt reform and tax. He also stepped down as vice chancellor and head of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), the center-right junior partner of the grand coalition government.

August 26, 2014

The United Nations Celebrate 35 Years in Vienna

The United Nations moved into the VIC Vienna International Centre 35 years ago. The VIC was officially opened on 23 August 1979 when it was handed over to the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Commonly known locally as 'UNO City', it has been rented to the organizations for 99 years at a symbolic rate of 1 Austrian schilling (7 euro cents) annually.

August 11, 2014

Analysis: The Brenner Base Tunnel

The Brenner Base Tunnel is a planned 55-kilometre long railway tunnel through the base of the Brenner massif. It will run from Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof in Austria to Franzensfeste (Fortezza) in Italy, replacing part of the current Brenner railway. The line is part of Line 1, the Berlin to Palermo route, of Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T).

August 11, 2014

Event: 21st Austria & Advantage Austria: Re-Think Central and Eastern Europe - An Austrian Perspective

On September 23, 2014, 21st Austria and Advantage Austria UK will host a panel discussion at the City of London's Gherkin skyscraper. Herbert Stepic, former CEO of RBI Raiffeisen Bank International and Georg Karabaczek, Austrian Trade Commissioner for the UK will focuse on the topic "Re-Think Central and Eastern Europe: An Austrian Perspective on Diversity in Performance, Challenges and Avenues of Growth". Panellists also include Pasquale Diana, Mario Holzner and Eduard Zehetner.

August 1, 2014

Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer Signs Hypo Special Act into Law

After intensive testing, together with the former President of the Constitutional Court and current adviser to the President, Prof. Dr. Ludwig Adamovich, Federal President Heinz Fischer has decided to carry out the notarization of the adopted bill and thus clear the way for review by the Constitutional Court.

July 31, 2014

Analysis: Russia - Assessment of EU and Tightened US Sanctions

Special analysis covering the most recent escalation in terms of Western economic and financial sanctions against Russia: EU and US sending bold diplomatic signals without inflicting too much near-term economic and financial damage. In comparison to the US sanctions by the EU are capped in duration. Recent escalation adds to uncertainty in doing business with Russia, which is an ultimate goal of sanctions. Near-term impact of current sanctions still limited, which implies a risk that they may remain for longer.

July 31, 2014