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Austria, officially known as the Republic of Austria is a country in the European Union landlocked by other countries on all sides. The country is located right in the center of Europe continent. Austria shares its border with Germany and Czech Republic in the North and in the east it is surrounded by Slovakia and Hungary. On the south it is bordered by Italy and Slovenia and on the west it is surrounded by Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Vienna is the capital city of Austria; it is also the largest city in the country.
From the economic point of view Austria is considered to be one the most powerful and industrially developed countries in the world. The country has one of the richest economies in the European Union and the residents of the country enjoy very high standards of living.
With a significantly large population of 8,356,707 (approx figures, as per 2009 census) inhabitants residing in the country, Austria represents a huge market base. Foreign investors can take advantage of this since they can exploit the market and cater to a huge audience.
The economy of Republic of Austria is very much similar to the market structure of its neighboring country, Germany. It is mainly characterized by a social market economy. The track record of Austrian GDP is reflective of Germany since long. However, ever since Austria became a member country of the European Union, its economy has become independent and it has become one of the best performing economies in Europe. Austria became part of the European Union in 1995 and it adopted Euro as its national currency in 1999.
The aggressive initiative of the Austrian government to make Austria a global economic super power, has laid out several pro foreign investment policies. Its efforts have yielded rich dividends; several investors have invested in the diverse sectors of the country. The foreign investment has been beneficial for both the investors and the government authorities. The foreign investment has created plenty of employment opportunities for the locals. Austria has the unique distinction of one of the countries where the unemployment is as low as 4.7%. On the other hand foreign companies can get the benefit of the best labor force which is highly educated and have high levels of technical qualification and skills.
The foreign companies have also contributed greatly to the overall exports of Austria. The Austrian exports have been one of the main constituents that have given a major boost to the economy of the country. With the rapid increase in the exports, the country has managed to grow significantly as compared to its growth figures during the 1990’s. Barring the recession years between 2008 and 2009, the economy of Austria grew at almost 3.5% in 2007 and 2% in 2008.
With the growth in trade, the currency of Austria has also grown substantially. The Austrian currency is growing stronger than the American Dollars. This is also a good sign for foreign investors to invest in the country. The GDP per capita too has grown significantly over the past few years. As per the official reports released by the government of Austria, the GDP per capita is $39,400 for the year 2009 which was slightly lesser than 2008 which was about $40,800.
In the year 2004, Austria was ranked as the fourth richest country amongst the member countries in the European Union. The economy of Austria is growing at a rapid pace and it is giving a serious competition to other countries not in the European Union but also to other countries in the world. It is striving hard to compete with other countries to become an economic superpower and to an extent it has also managed to leave a few European countries in its total annual revenue.
Today, Austria has one of the largest economies in the European Union and it has plenty of scope for more expansion. The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of Austria in 2008 was $39,300 million (approx figure). The GDP PPP for the same period of Austria was $30,900.
Recently, Vienna was ranked as the fifth richest regions in the European Regions with the GDP reaching up to staggering € 38'632 per capita (approx), which was way better than other popular economic destinations such as London, Rome, Paris and Madrid.
The economy of Austria has been growing consistently over the past few years. During the years between 2002 and 2006, the economy of Austria has been growing between 1 to 3.3%, which is a significant growth considering the small size of the nation. The strategic geographic location of Austria, which is located in the Central Europe has worked very much in its favor, it is been acting as an important gateway to the newly joined member countries of the European Union. The foreign investors can easily have access to other industrially developed countries in the European Union.
Austria has great potential for foreign investment in different sectors. Although most of the sectors provide healthy return on capitals invested, foreign investors can gain maximum returns in certain sectors.
Banking and transport:
One of the most promising sectors that can yield tremendous returns is the banking and transport sector. These sectors have greatly contributed to the economic development of Austria. According to the statistics provided by the Austrian government officials about 60% of the Total GDP comes from the banking sector. Thus, there is huge potential for foreign investors to explore these sectors.
Agriculture and allied industries have also been one of the most contributing sectors to the Austrian exchequer. Austria is also known for its dairy products and the industry has huge potential for investments. Austria has world class cattle and foreign investors in food processing and packaging of food products.
The Austrian government has a liberal outlook towards foreign investment. It provides several grants to foreign investors investing in the country. The grants are mainly in terms of tax exemption on capital gains, establishment of industrial premises. Austria is a world-class destination for foreign investment.
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