Austria is one of the most prosperous countries in the world. Manufacturing,
including mining, accounts for nearly 30 % of GDP.
Since World War II, much of the country’s industrial capacity
has been in state hands and only recently has been removed from
under the protective wing of the state holding company, OIAG.
Iron and steel, chemicals, metalworking and engineering
all fall into this category.
Agriculture has proved very successful, with domestic products meeting
90% of the country’s food needs. Crops include sugar beet,
grain, potatoes, grapes, tobacco, flax, hemp and wine.
Austria has moderate deposits of iron, lignite, magnesium, lead,
copper, salt, zinc and silver. Although there are some oil reserves
and an extensive hydroelectric programme, Austria must import the
bulk of its energy requirements. Austria was a member of the European
Free Trade Association (EFTA) before it joined the EU in
1995, Germany is now Austria’s largest trading partner by
a considerable margin, followed by Italy, France, the UK and, outside
the EU, Switzerland. Overall, the EU now accounts for approximately
two thirds of total Austrian trade. The previously substantial trade
with both the USA and the former USSR has fallen as a proportion
of the total in recent years. After implementing austerity measures
to cut government spending, Austria was able to meet the
criteria for membership of the single European currency and joined
it upon its inception at the beginning of 1999. Since then,
in common with most of the EU, the economy has been sluggish. GDP
growth was just over 2 per cent in 2002.
Austrians are formal in their business dealings. A working knowledge
of German is an advantage. Best times to visit are during the spring
and autumn months.
Office hours: Monday-Friday
0800-1230 hrs and 1330-1730 hrs.
The following organisation can offer advice: Wirtschaftskammer
Österreich (Austrian Federal Economic Chamber), Wiedner
Hauptstrasse 63, 1045, Vienna (telephone number: (1) 501 050 4226
or 590 900, fax number: (1) 5010 5255, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
or email@example.com, website:
Austria has 31 conference venues, including over twenty in Vienna
and a floating conference centre, the MS Mozart,
on the river Danube. The provincial capitals of Salzburg,
Innsbruck, Graz, Linz, Bregenz, Klagenfurt and Eisenstadt
also offer convention venues, as do several health and spa resorts.
Furthermore there are approximately 70 hotels in Austria which specialise
in the conference/convention field. For more detailed information,
contact the Austrian National Tourist Office (see