Austria: A Highly Developed Springboard for Europe.
Austria, with an area of 83.850 km˛ and a population of around 8,1 million is a member of the European Union and as such is part of a home market incorporating 455 million people. Austria is a highly developed industrial nation and, with a per capita gross domestic product of EUR 27.000.-, is among the ten richest nations in the world.
Not least, Austria’s central position in Europe makes it THE springboard for international business in the east of the continent, with which it forms the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region. A well developed CEE network of Austrian banks, insurance companies, business and tax advisors and Vienna International Airport – the best equipped airport for West-East transfers – make Austria and Vienna in particular the CEE base for 1.000 international businesses. Among them are 300 multinationals including McDonalds, Baan, Coca Cola, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, BASF, Generali, Renault, Siemens, Computer Associates, SAP, Sony DADC, Eli Lilly, Magna, Suzuki, BP, Henkel, Boehringer Ingelheim,...
There are some 27.000 firms in Austria devoted specifically to Information and Communication Technology. At the moment, the growth rate stands at 3.000 businesses each year. In 2004, the total turnover of the Austrian ICT economy came to EUR 28,5 billion (domestic and foreign), of which the domestic market accounted for EUR 19,3 billion, which, measured against GDP is an amount greatly above the EU average. (Compare the turnover of the Austrian tourist trade, well known for its success: EUR 21,16 billion.) The ICT sector is a very significant presence on Austria’s Research and Development (R&D) landscape. Among the total of 100 university institutions in the country, every fourth is active in a particular segment of ICT, whether it be Artificial Intelligence, Multimedia or Software-Engineering.
Well-established transport links by road, rail, air or ship bring the most important centres of Central and Eastern Europe into easy reach.
The following table shows distances from Vienna for various European cities, the graphic shows the flight-times from Austria in hours:
Austria boasts an especially efficient telecommunications infrastructure and one of the highest levels of market penetration in the field of mobile telephony. The country is also well above the European average when it comes to domestic and business internet connections.
Research & Development is carried out in more than 2.000 technology and industry oriented organisation. Many international concerns with bases in Austria in the area of ICT, such as Siemens, Ericsson and Philips, run from here globally oriented centres for R&D expertise. Excellent legal protection of patents and the availability of top quality research potential through engineers and academics from a variety of disciplines also benefit companies.
The education system is excellent and is in keeping with the demands of the economy.
One of the European Union’s lowest levels of unemployment, the third lowest rate of strikes, an outstandingly motivated workforce, high levels in growth of productivity and product quality, falling unit wage costs, the high levels of loyalty usual among Austrian employees and their identification with the business’ goals all go towards making Austria, despite being a country with high wages, one of the most attractive places in the world to set up a business.
Austria offers a very business friendly tax system: corporation tax is set at 25 %, there is no wealth tax or trade tax. There is also a very interesting model of group taxation, in which profits and losses from sister companies can be written off against those of the parent company in Austria. This means that tax allowances for Research and Development, training and a variety of options for tax write-offs fall from the prescribed 25 % to effectively around 22 %.
Alongside the highly attractive economic situation, Austria’s location also brings with it much more in the way of quality advantages. Austria boasts wonderfully untouched nature, world-beating culture, a wide variety of leisure and sport activities, excellent medical provision, the highest standard of living and security for person and possessions.