Many Baltic entrepreneurs are looking into expanding their company by opening a new branch abroad or relocating to an entirely different country. A relocation often provides various strategic and economic advantages. An additional international presence raises a company’s image and revenue and develops new markets. Austria, and more specifically the Vienna Region, is a promising business location that offers excellent economic opportunities. Baltic companies in Austria can benefit from a number of advantages – we have outlined some of them below.
Strong existing business ties between Baltic States and Austria
Austria and the Baltic states already enjoy excellent business connections. The reciprocal exchange of goods and services is strong and rises continuously. These existing business ties make it easier for Baltic companies to smoothly enter the Austrian market.
Austria has also become an increasingly important holiday destination for the Baltics. Skiing, summer sports, and cultural activities attract many vacationists.
There are many parallels between Austria and the Baltic countries regarding political stability, civil rights, infrastructure, etc. Austrian and Baltic entrepreneurs share similar values when it comes to business relationships. Reliability and accuracy are appreciated as good bases for lasting cooperation. English is taught as a foreign language in school ensuring international communication. All of these factors facilitate the process of moving a Baltic company to Austria.
Chances for Baltic companies in Austria
With 9 million inhabitants, Austria’s population is considerably larger than that of Lithuania (2,8 million inhabitants), Latvia (1,9 million inhabitants), and Estonia (1,3 million inhabitants). As small national economies, the Baltic states are strongly export-oriented and therefore highly dependent on the international economic climate. Thus, export disruptions affect the Baltic countries more strongly than Austria which has a larger national economy. Russia has been an important Baltic trading partner, which has changed with the Ukraine conflict and the sanctions against Russia. Austria has a different geopolitical situation and is less directly affected by the consequences of the Ukraine war.
The gross domestic product as well as the average income are much higher in Austria than in the Baltics.
Life expectancy is a bit lower in the Baltics than in Austria, where no population group is growing as strongly as the 50+ generation. Austrians over the age of 50 generally enjoy a stable income and can now afford things for which they lacked time or money earlier in life. They are an important economic target group, also referred to as the “silver market”. Companies are creating services and products for this market to enjoy good business perspectives in Austria.
Skilled staff for Baltic companies
A specific Baltic problem since independence is the sharp population decline. Every year tens of thousands of people have emigrated to other countries, causing a shortage of well-trained personnel. The trend has been halted, but the lack of required skilled labor has led to strong wage increases and is putting pressure on productivity. Moreover, there isn’t enough practice-oriented vocational training. The labor situation also stands out as a big issue to local and foreign investors.
Austria, on the contrary, is an immigration country – the population is rising. Wages are still affordable and there are great educational and vocational training opportunities. The Vienna Region is renowned for its around 23 universities and 7 teacher education colleges. Excellently trained people graduate from these educational facilities. Based on Statistik Austria, the total annual enrolment amounts to about 210.000 students, 29% of who are international students. Due to its many assets, the Vienna Region attracts people from all over the world. They bring their skills and talents with them and have every opportunity to acquire additional qualifications. Baltic companies in Austria will find a much larger pool of potential employees here.
Research and development, productivity and innovation
In view of the increasing pressure on competitiveness, the leap into more technology-intensive production is crucial for the Baltic states. The research and development rate needs to be increased as well. Austria is already very advanced in these aspects. The Vienna Region is home to an excellent educational system and puts a strong emphasis on research and development. Actually, Austria is amongst the EU leaders in this field. More than 3% of its GDP is spent on research and development. Austria holds seventh place worldwide in terms of the “quota of inventors” which measures the number of registered patterns per inhabitant. (Source: www.WKO.at)
The Vienna Region is on a high-tech evolution path, encouraging innovation and the use of AI. The Austrian federal government has developed a special AI strategy called “Artificial Intelligence Mission Austria 2030 (AIM AT 2030)”. It implements a broad use of AI-oriented services and positions Austria as a research and innovation location for AI. New ways to increase effectiveness and productivity are designed by recognized research facilities design. On top of that, the necessary human resources and skills are available to implement new technologies.
Climate protection and the evolution of smart cities are of utmost importance to the Vienna Region. Renewable energy, e-sharing and sustainability are promoted and subsidized in all areas of life. This future-oriented course makes the Vienna Region a very important business location that Baltic companies in Austria can benefit from.
Location and infrastructure
The Baltics’ geopolitical situation at the crossroads between East and West might currently cause uncertainty among investors to some extent. In comparison, the Vienna Region is less directly affected by the consequences of the Ukraine war. It enjoys a very stable political and geopolitical situation, right in the center of Europe. Vienna, Lower Austria, and Burgenland, which form the Vienna Region, actually hold a geographical pole position. From here, the growing markets in Eastern and Central Europe are easily accessible. Austria’s infrastructure is extensive and reliable. A network of motorways, airports, major railway terminals, as well as waterways, ensures excellent connectivity. Direct connections to other European countries and major capitals open up many new business markets.
Grants and subsidies
The Vienna Region strongly supports start-ups and new businesses. For Baltic companies in Austria, an extensive system of government grants and subsidies is available. Next to public funding there are also lots of private investors and early-stage investment opportunities. Each of the three states – Vienna, Lower Austria, and Burgenland – has its own business agencies that assist entrepreneurs with the bureaucratic formalities of setting up a company. They provide all the important information on jump-start programs, subsidized loans, business grants, and accelerators as well as on think tanks and start-up networks. Coaching, early-stage mentoring, workshops, and office infrastructure are available as well.
Made in Austria
Austria enjoys an excellent international reputation. The country is well known for its music, art, architecture, beautiful landscape, and cultural activities. But it is also known for precision and long-lasting top-notch quality. To customers, “made in Austria” signals reliability and generates trust.
Naturally, more and more international companies are moving to the Vienna Region because of its many advantages for their business. Relocating is attractive for employees as well. Ex-pats can look forward to a high quality of life with lots of leisure activities to choose from, generous childcare benefits, and a great schooling system. Personal safety, low crime rates, excellent health care, clean air, and water shouldn’t go unmentioned either.
The Vienna Region is an excellent choice for any company considering relocation or an additional international production facility. Baltic companies in Austria will enjoy many benefits and advantages – especially in the Vienna Region.
Let me give you five reasons why you should set up your headquarters in the Vienna Region:
- it is one of the most developed countries in the European Union
- a high quality of life at affordable prices
- Excellent, highly-developed infrastructure
- highly qualified workforce
- outstanding spending capacity of customers
- home to many international companies, universities as well as research facilities
- direct access to South East and Eastern Europe
- high level of personal security, political stability and legal certainty
- an international as well as cosmopolitan region due to a population with migration background
What a founder-friendly location needs is a focus on the global market. Austria’s location in particular makes it an ideal hub for the international start-up scene in Central and Eastern Europe.
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