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5 years EU expansion – a big boost for the Austrian export economy

Austria's Economy © photocase.com/apfelholz

© photocase.com/apfelholz

May 5, 2009

According to a statement by Walter Koren, director of Austrian Trade at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Austria has profited greatly by the eastward expansion of the EU. No other country has used the situation to such great advantage as Austria, which has intensified its relationship with Central and Eastern Europe since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Strong exports to the new EU member states have put the Austrian economy in a central position within the European community. Economic data show that 17.6 percent of total Austrian foreign trade is with the new EU member states and six of them are in the top 14 nations to which Austria exports. Export volume has doubled since 2003 and about 30% of the financial sector is served by Austrian banks.

“It’s really important to stay on top of things right now,” says Koren. During this economic crisis, international rating agencies tend to focus only on the risks. But leaving the market would not be the right answer. According to Koren, the economic situation in Central and Eastern Europe is likely to improve quickly because of the great backlog demands. Austrian entrepreneurs should even increase their investments in these markets and keep persevering.

Austrian Trade wants this success story to be continued and will help small export firms to adapt their regional strategies.

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