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International Review: Republic of Austria

The next cycle of materials "International Review" is dedicated to the homeland of great composers, one of the EU leaders in the quality of life and welfare, the owner of one of the oldest flags in the world. It will be about the Republic of Austria.

The capital of the Republic of Austria is Vienna. Its territory is over 83 thousand, the population is about 8.8 million people. The official currency is the euro. The official language is German. Austria is a parliamentary republic in the southern part of Central Europe. The country's parliament consists of two chambers - the National and the Federal Councils. As a federal state, Austria consists of 9 lands, one of which is the capital Vienna.

The Austrian economic model is expressed in social partnership, which is based on such elements as political stability, social peace, harmonious relations between employers and employees, stable internal security and extensive integration into the global economy. Social partnership extends to almost all areas of economic and social policy.


In 2018, Austria’s GDP was $ 459 billion (27th in the world), or 110% to 2017 level. Export of goods and services in 2017 amounted to $ 224 billion, 70% of which accounted for industrial goods. Import of goods and services - $ 212 billion. Key foreign trade partners are Germany, USA, Italy, France, Switzerland.

The main export of Austria is machinery and equipment, trucks and their parts, iron, steel and metal products, food and beverages, products for medicine and pharmaceuticals, plastic and goods from it, paper and cardboard. In the services sector, tourism occupies a key place.

Interesting fact. Austria is among the countries with the largest number of Nobel Prize winners per capita.

There are no free (special) economic zones in Austria. The most common way to support foreign investment is providing guarantees to the bank on concessional loans issued for the implementation of investment projects. Bilateral investment agreements play a significant role in stimulating investment in Austria. There are many investment support programs subject to industry specifics. In the implementation of investment projects enterpreneurs widely practice obtaining subsidies under the state program of job creation support. There are also a number of funds that support science and research.

Leading Austrian country-investors since 2010 are: Germany - 44.5 billion euros, Russia - 27 billion euros, the USA - 11.6 billion euros, Canada - 10.6 billion euros, Switzerland - 9 billion euros. The key role, along with support programs, for direct investment is played by the business environment (tax legislation, legal protection of investments, stability of legislation, etc.). Despite the large tax burden in Austria, an increase in the number of enterprises with foreign capital is observed.


Mechanical engineering and metalworking is Austria’s leading industrial sector. At the end of 2017, over 7,400 enterprises functioned in the industry with about 200 thousand employees (28% of all employed in the industry). In 2017, products worth 46.3 billion euros, or about 20% of the country's total industrial output, were produced. The volume of exported products reached 39.8 billion euros or 28% of Austria’s export.

The Austrian chemical industry, being the second industrial sector in terms of production, is represented by 270 enterprises. The total number of people employed in the industry is 43.1 thousand people. The volume of industrial production in 2017 amounted to about 14.8 billion euros, or about 4.5% of the country's GDP. The share of the chemical industry in the production volume is about 10%.

Interesting fact. The word "Austria" is translated from ancient German as "eastern country".

The woodworking and  paper and paperboard industry in Austria plays a key role in Austrian economy. This is due to several factors, the main of which is the presence of large areas covered with forests. Their total area is over 4 million hectares (48%) of the country's territory. The structure of the woodworking industry includes the following areas: furniture, sawmill, wood processing, parquetry, energy, cork, etc. Most enterprises of the industry are small and medium-sized family enterprises.

Lumber industry occupies the largest segment of the woodworking industry, with Austria being one of the world's largest sawnwood exporters. In 2017, Austria had 1,350 woodworking enterprises,1,019 of which were sawmills. The industry employs 24.9 thousand people. The volume of industrial production in 2017 amounted to 7.87 billion euros, export quota of 70%.

Cooperation of Belarus and Austria

In 2017, the trade turnover of Belarus and Austria amounted to $ 177.4 million (122.9% by 2016), export - $ 19 million (122.5%), import - 158.4 million dollars. Export of Belarusian products:

  • wire, rods of simple steel, other hot finished;
  • acyclic alcohols, their derivatives;
  • furniture and its parts, specific products;
  • communications equipment and parts to it;
  • nails, buttons, staples of ferrous metals;
  • potash fertilizers;
  • welded or riveted pipes and tubes from ferrous metals;
  • equipment for measurement and control of electrical quantities.

Import is represented by the following positions:

  • drugs;
  • vaccines, serum from the blood;
  • equipment for sorting and grinding soil;
  • base metal fasteners used for furniture;
  • products, equipment for the production of food and beverages;
  • power generating sets, industrial equipment;
  • special purpose vehicles.

In recent years, the Belarusian-Austrian economic relations are characterized by stable positive dynamics, institutional mechanisms to support economic relations have been established:

  • Belarusian-Austrian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation;
  • Belarusian-Austrian International Automobile Communication Commission;
  • Belarusian-Austrian Working Group "Environmental Protection and Environmental Technologies";
  • Belarusian-Austrian Business Council.

Cooperation of FEZ Grodnoinvest and Austria

On the territory of FEZ Grodnoinvest in Smorgon district, Austrian woodworking concern Kronospan for the implementation of investment projects in woodworking sphere attracted investments to fixed assets in the amount of over $ 144 million .

In cooperation with the concern, a project is being developed to create a furniture cluster in FEZ Grodnoinvest. Residents of FEZ are actively cooperating to create joint products with higher added value. In 2018, the companies of Kronospan Concern (current residents of FEZ Grodnoinvest) sold products to other FEZ residents worht 13.1 million Belarusian rubles, which is by 3.6 times more than in 2017. In 2018, three new furniture cluster members were registered as FEZ Grodnoinvest residents with investment projects worth € 13.3 million.

We invite local and foreign representatives of woodworking and furniture production sectors to participate in the project of creation a furniture cluster. If you are interested, you can contact foreign trade activity department of the administration of FEZ Grodnoinvest: +375 (152) 41-23-17 or e-mail:,there you will get the necessary information and any support you need.

We also invite you to participate in the Business Forum with Austrian companies in Grodno, which will be held on the basis of FEZ Grodnionvest on March 20, 2019. The event will be held as part of the economic mission of the Austrian business community to the Republic of Belarus under the leadership of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

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