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7 August 2014

The Austrian President Dr Heinz Fischer praised Ireland in his address to the Irish Austrian Business Forum in the Shelbourne Hotel on Tuesday 7 October saying "Let me start by saying how much I admire the Irish people for tackling the economic challenges of recent years with great determination." He went on to say "I am fully aware of the sacrifices the Irish people have made in dealing with the effects of the economic crisis."

The Austrian President also spoke about the burgeoning trade between Ireland and Austria which stood at €1.4 billion in 2013, a growth of 13.8%. Austria's exports to Ireland amounted to €300 million mainly in sustainable construction and renewables.
Link to RTE1 with TV interviews

Most of Ireland's exports to Austria come from the multinational sector. The Irish trade pomotion agency, Enterprise Ireland, increasingly views Austria as an interesting market and also as a strong  export bridge to Eastern Europe.

Speakers from the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Enterprise Ireland and IBEC discussed doing business between Ireland and Austria in front of 200 invited guests. The forum was chaired by Miriam O'Callaghan.

The Business Forum was followed by a Showcase of Urban Technologies featuring smart cities, sustainable building, mobility, environmental technologies and renewables. A speaker from Smart City Wien presented the vision for the city that consistently tops the rankings for the best quality of life in the world – Vienna. 

"We have 200 Austrian companies that are "hidden champions", that means they dominate specific market niches but they are largely unknown to the wider public", said Dr Walter Koren, Head of Advantage Austria worldwide. "We are pleased to have ten of our industry's finest examples here today to Showcase their technologies".

Dr Richard Schenz pointed to the Austrian footprints all over Ireland, such as:
· The iconic glass and steel facade of the Convention Centre Dublin, constructed by Waagner-Biro in Vienna
· 18,000 low energy traffic lights installed by Swarco Futurit for Dublin County Council and the advanced traffic monitoring sytem at Galway County Council.
· The motorway tunnel under the River Shannon, which was built by a consortium consisting of John Sisk and Strabag.
· The Google Link Bridge at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin by GIG Fassadenbau
· The Terminal 2 duty-free zone at Dublin Airport, fitted out by Umdasch Shopfitting. Umdasch also counts Brown Thomas and Elverys among its customers.
· The points system and tracks for the LUAS installed by Voest Alpine Stahl.
· The heat pumps widely used in hotels, horticulture, swimming pools, churches, schools, manufacturing, on farms and in homes from Ochsner Ireland.

Austrian companies also supply critically important chemicals to the pharmaceutical industry and electronic components to the IT and Medtech sectors. On the consumer side, Red Bull and Swarovski are Austria’s two best known brands around the world. 

RTE business journalist, Emma McNamara, filed three TV reports from the event, one with President of Austria Heinz Fischer. The President referred to the key factors that make the Austrian economy strong: “Technical expertise, partly due to the vocational training of our young people in up to 350 occupations, and strong social partnership, which helps us steer our economy and maintain economic stability”. She also interviewed Willi Nest with Karin Brünner of Swarco Futurit and Michael Kieslinger of Fluidtime.

Advantage Austria represents the interests of the 440,000 member companies of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. It operates a network of 110 offices in over 70 countries. The Dublin office was established in 1967.
See more on @austria_dublin