Economy

As one of the most prosperous and stable EU Member States, Austria offers its investors ideal conditions. The Austrian economic system can be characterized as a free market economy with a strong social focus by also taking into account the weaker members of society. Austria also features a tried and tested system of economic and social partnership, which has traditionally played a strong and reconciliatory role in wage and price policies.

Austria is a highly developed industrialized country with an important service sector. The most important industries are food and luxury commodities, mechanical engineering and steel construction, chemicals, and vehicle manufacturing.

In the field of agriculture, Austria is witnessing a strong trend towards organic farming. With an overall share of 11.9%, organic farms in Austria occupy a leading position among the EU Member States. In this organic branch of agriculture, 88.1% of enterprises are dedicated to livestock farming.

As regards raw materials and energy production, Austria can draw on an abundance of resources. It has natural resources of iron ore, non-ferrous metals, important minerals and earths. The constant growth of the industrial sector, however, increasingly requires supplementary imports. This is also true of fuels, energy resources, and the electricity-generating industry. Austria has its own resources of petroleum and natural gas. The generation of hydroelectric power is constantly being expanded, which makes Austria the leader in the field of hydroelectric power in the European Union.

Austria's industrial and commercial sectors are characterized by a high proportion of medium-sized companies. Austrian industry covers every branch of manufacturing, from basic goods to the labor-intensive production of highly processed products. The construction of plants and systems (encompassing the planning, delivery, and assembly of turn-key production facilities, including the required know-how and operational expertise) is making up an increasingly important share. This field is strongly export-oriented, as is the electronics sector (including, for instance, the production of integrated circuits).

Austria is world-famous for its arts and crafts, most notably fine hand-crafted items, costumized jewellery, ceramics, and glassware.

Tourism is an essential pillar of the Austrian economy. Austria is a mountainous country with one of the largest natural land reserves in central Europe.

In the global-political arena, Austria is increasingly becoming an international meeting point, which is illustrated by the large number of summits and conferences held in Austria. At the same time, the country's relevance as a vital transit country between the economic areas of Europe is increasing, especially for European energy supplies, including petroleum, natural gas, and electricity.

For current economic statistics please visit the websites of

Statistik Austria:
http://www.statistik.at/web_en

Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy:
http://www.en.bmwfj.gv.at/Seiten/default.aspx