If you think Austria is just a travel destination, think again. The country is a great destination for industry as well: Austria offers a good infrastructure for producers, it has a number of existing high-tech companies, well trained work force and last but not the least attractive subsidies for setting up companies. In this exclusive interview, Dr. René Siegl, managing director of the investment guide Austrian Business Agency, explains how you can profit from Austria as an industry location. René Siegl, managing director of the Austrian Business Agency, in an exclusive interview.
What are the strengths of Austria in terms of a location for industry?
Often Austria is primarily perceived as a holiday destination. However, tourism accounts for only about 7.5 % of our economic output. On the other hand, the manufacturing sector accounts for just below 30%. The decisive factors here are ultra-modern F&E infrastructure with clusters, competence centres, technology parks and industrial parks, high productivity and well trained, motivated work force. High security of energy supply, the best sales opportunities, the purchasing power or the BIP per head, here for example almost one-third above the EU-average, are crucial. The sales markets in Southern and Eastern Europe are comparatively closer to Austria which is also an influential factor. Mainly the machine building industry, hardware and electronics are the most important industry branches. Together, these branches are responsible for almost 47 % of the total industrial production in Austria.
Why should industrial enterprises settle in Austria?
For our international investors factors like an attractive corporate tax, strong support to research and development and high level of qualification of the workforce are crucial. The political, legal and social stability in Austria is exceptionally high. A flexible employment law facilitates the strategic planning for companies, e.g. through the system for ex gratia payments. According to the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2014 Austria is among the Top 5 from sixty industrial countries as regards motivation and education and advanced training of employees and it may have the lowest unemployment rate in EU, on an average just 4.5 % since 2000. From 2005 to 2012, on an annual average only two working days were lost due to strikes per 1000 workers. Only Switzerland has a lesser strikes than Austria. The most important international direct investor in Austria is Germany: In 2014 the investment sum from German establishments was 274.5 million Euros, about 40% above the value from the previous year. All in all about 8450 German companies are active at the industrial location Austria.
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