As Mr. Harald Mahrer, President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO), emphasized, there are currently about 1,000 Austrian subsidiaries in China. “Their long-term engagement reflects the ever-growing importance of the Chinese market: China is one of the very few economies that – even under these Covid-circumstances - will grow by the end of the year 2020. China is the most important trading partner for Austria in Asia and the second most important one overseas”, Mr. Mahrer said prior to the AUSTRIA CONNECT China 2020 conference. In 2019, China was Austria’s fourth most important trading partner worldwide after Germany, Italy and the US. Whereas Austrian exports to China increased by 10% to EUR 4.4 bn and imports from China rose by 7.8% to EUR 9.8 bn last year, the COVID-19 crisis inevitably left its marks in the course of 2020.
AUSTRIA CONNECT China 2020
Challenging times call for a rethink of tried and tested business practices. This was also the case for the 2020 edition of the Sino-Austrian flagship event AUSTRIA CONNECT that came in a 100% new format this autumn. It combined virtual with physical elements and offered experts’ presentations as well as networking opportunities. The online and offline participants were particularly honored to get insights from Ms. Amelie Gross, Vice-President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO), and her counterpart, Mr. Minhao Zhou, Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade CCPIT Shanghai Sub-Council, as well as from Ms. Margarete Schramböck, Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs, from H.E. Xiaosi Li, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China and from H.E. Friedrich Stift, Austrian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and Mongolia, via video conferencing.
Under the topic “Staying ahead of the curve – Navigating China’s new business reality”, AUSTRIA CONNECT China 2020 explored current global developments that will shape business in the years to come and new opportunities that will arise for companies in that context. Live expert presentations and panel discussions dealt with geopolitical questions (ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA Beijing), the digital transformation (ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA Hong Kong) and the Austrian perspective on a changing business environment (ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA Shanghai). Personal exchange between representatives of the Austrian-Chinese business community was still at the heart of this year’s AUSTRIA CONNECT China. More than 110 officials, experts and company representatives participated in virtual 1:1 meetings and an offline evening networking reception in Shanghai. Detailed information on the program and speakers are available in the AUSTRIA CONNECT 2020 Digital Conference Guide (PDF, 2.6MB) and on the event platform.
AUSTRIA CONNECT China 2020 Shanghai & Digital was co-sponsored by AST Advanced Sporting Technology, AT&S, Blum Furniture Hardware, Burkhardt & Partner Lawyers, cargo-partner, Erste Group, Gebrueder Weiss, H2Motion, InvestHK, KLINGER Shanghai and Raiffeisen Bank International as well as go-international, a shared export-initiative of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. We thank our sponsors for their precious support!