Facts and Figures

Austria is located in southern Central Europe. Geographically, its territory encompasses both the Eastern Alps (which cover some two thirds of its surface area) and the Danube Region. Austria has a land surface of 83,858 square kilometres (32,369 square miles). Given its location, it has since time immemorial been a cross-roads of travel routes between the major European economic and cultural regions. Austria has common borders with eight other countries: Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Austria is a federal state consisting of nine independent federal states: Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Upper Austria, Vienna and Vorarlberg.

Foreign trade policy and European integration

Austria´s foreign trade policy aims to create an optimum framework enabling Austrian companies to operate within a level playing field and succeed in a global market environment. For this purpose you need a central co-ordinating agency. Centre 2 is such an agency designed to represent and guard the interests of Austrian business and industry at all supranational (EU) and international (e.g. WTO) levels.

Modern foreign trade policy in the age of globalisation

National borders are losing their significance in a globalised world where continents are increasingly networked through information and communication technology, and where capital markets and international trade are becoming ever more inter-dependent. Hence there is a growing need for foreign trade policy to meet the requirements of international competition and globalised markets. Foreign trade policy has to maintain and strengthen Austrian industry's ability to compete, while seizing opportunities for sustainable growth and for the creation of promising new jobs.

Optimum framework for Austrian business and industry

A major objective of country-region's foreign trade policy is to create an optimum framework and level playing field enabling Austrian companies to succeed in world markets. To achieve this aim it is necessary to represent Austrian interests in the relevant EU bodies and use bilateral contacts at ministerial and civil service levels to improve the legal framework and lobby for the benefit of the Austrian export sector. This also requires the use of protective instruments against unfair trade practices for the well-being of country-region's economy.

European integration

Representing Austrian economic interests in the relevant EU bodies has been an essential policy objective since Austriacountry-region´s accession to the European Union. This also concerns foreign trade relations. Irrespective of the above, it is also necessary to cater to the needs of national opinion formation and adopt a co-ordinated approach to issues represented by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Labour (BMWA). This is where Center 2 assumes the role of a central co-ordinator responsible for representing and guarding the interests of Austrian business and industry at all EU levels.

Administration of foreign trade

Various administrative measures are still necessary to handle imports and exports, and to implement international agreements. Administration primarily aims to devise these measures as customer- and business-friendly as possible and reduce expenditure of time and money.

Economy - overview:

Austria, with its well-developed market economy and high standard of living, is closely tied to other EU economies, especially Germany's. The Austrian economy also benefits greatly from strong commercial relations, especially in the banking and insurance sectors, with central, eastern, and southeastern Europe. The economy features a large service sector, a sound industrial sector, and a small, but highly developed agricultural sector. Membership in the EU has drawn an influx of foreign investors attracted by Austria's access to the single European market and proximity to the new EU economies. The current government has successfully pursued a comprehensive economic reform program, aimed at streamlining government, creating a more competitive business environment, further strengthening Austria's attractiveness as an investment location, pursuing a balanced budget, and implementing effective pension reforms. Weak domestic consumption and slow growth in Europe have held the economy to growth rates of 0.4% in 2002, 1.4% in 2003, 2.4% in 2004, and 1.8% in 2005. To meet increased competition from both EU and Central European countries, particularly the new EU members, Austria will need to continue restructuring, emphasizing knowledge-based sectors of the economy, and encouraging greater labor flexibility and greater labor participation by its aging population.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$269.6 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$295.1 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.8% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$32,900 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.3%
industry: 30.8%
services: 66.9% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
3.49 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 27%
services: 70% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:
5.1% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
5.9% (2004)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.3%
highest 10%: 22.5% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
31 (2002)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.3% (2005)
Investment (gross fixed):
21.1% of GDP (2005 est.)
revenues: $148.6 billion
expenditures: $154.5 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
63.3% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
grains, potatoes, sugar beets, wine, fruit; dairy products, cattle, pigs, poultry; lumber
construction, machinery, vehicles and parts, food, metals, chemicals, lumber and wood processing, paper and paperboard, communications equipment, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
3.2% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
63.69 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - consumption:
64.78 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
13.53 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
16.63 billion kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
17,810 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption:
249,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
30,140 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
152,600 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
84.3 million bbl (2004)
Natural gas - production:
1.96 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - consumption:
9.01 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2004)
Natural gas - imports:
7.05 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
23.2 billion cu m (2004)
Current account balance:
-$212 million (2005 est.)
$122.5 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, paper and paperboard, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs
Exports - partners:
Germany 32%, Italy 8.9%, US 6%, Switzerland 4.8%, France 4.2%, UK 4.2% (2004)
$118.8 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal goods, oil and oil products; foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Germany 46.3%, Italy 6.8%, Switzerland 4.3% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$19.5 billion (2004)
Debt - external:
$510.6 billion (30 June 2005 est.)
Economic aid - donor:
ODA, $681 million (2004)
Currency (code):
euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries
Exchange rates:
euros per US dollar - 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001)
Fiscal year:
calendar year