Secretary-General Linhart: “Establishing a sustainable network for the promotion of Austrian interests”

The first round of the Austrian Leadership Programs (ALPS) was launched today

A total of 25 international executives from more than 15 countries followed the invitation by Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and will participate for one week in the Austrian Leadership Programs (ALPS). When extending the invitations to participate in this first round of visits, the focus was mainly placed on decision-makers from the ASEAN states, South and Central Asia as well as South and Eastern Europe. “The purpose of this programme is to present Austria as a dynamic and innovative business location while at the same time establishing a sustainable network of decision-makers that contributes towards promoting Austrian interests in the emerging markets”, Secretary-General Linhart stressed today at the event marking the launch of the first ALPS-round at the Foreign Ministry.

Under this programme, participants will visit high-level representatives and top venues in Austria. The focus will be placed on meeting and exchanging views with high-level politicians and top executives from Austria and on visiting international organisations that are based in Vienna, such as the United Nations or OPEC, for instance. “Austria enjoys an excellent reputation in the fields of tourism and culture. By launching ALPS we seek to highlight the role played by Austria in the world and to focus attention on our successful companies, covering the whole range from start-ups to world market leaders”, Secretary-General Linhart pointed out.

With a view to promoting these objectives, the visiting programme was launched by Federal Minister Sebastian Kurz together with the Austrian Federation of Industries and the Austrian Economic Chamber, thus following the example set by large industrial nations that have set up similar visiting programmes as a successful up-to-date “soft power” foreign policy tool. Under ALPS a total of 100 executives will be invited to Austria every year. Programme participants will come from some 50 priority countries that are set to become highly relevant for Austria in the medium and long term from both the political and the economic points of view. Preparations for the second round, scheduled for the middle of June, are already underway. This time, the focus will be placed on the Western Balkan countries and North America.

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