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Last updated : Nov 2009
Austria Business
Austria Business Overview - TravelPuppy.com
Austria Economy

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.

Business Etiquette

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.

Commercial Information

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: callcenter@wko.at or awo.maerkte@wko.at, website: www.wko.at).

Conferences/Conventions

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 Contact section).