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Strong Showing by U.S. Subsidiaries at Austria Connect 2008  

October 6, 2008

 Despite Slowdown, Subsidiaries Confident

Meeting at the first annual conference of Austrian subsidiaries in the U.S. , business executives remain confident in U.S. business opportunities. The “Austria Connect 2008” event, held in rain and crisis-drenched Washington , DC at the end of September, exceeded all expectations by attracting over 100 participants. The three-day conference took place at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC, and was made possible by Austrian Airlines , RZB Finance , Erste Bank and Unicredit / Bank Austria . It represented the full array of Austrian investments in the U.S., from A (Austrian Energy & Environment Group or AE&E, provider of thermal power generation and environmental technologies ) to Z (Zumtobel , provider of lighting components and products).

Event participants agreed on two things about their involvement in the U.S. market, the biggest economy in the world. First, money can be made, even in the midst of a financial crises, for firms that offer products to high-quality, high-tech and export-driven industries in the U.S. market. Secondly, the 2008 financial crisis is not a sign of permanent decline, but rather a painful period of adjustment. According to Austrian Trade Commissioners Christian Kesberg (New York), Christian Kuegerl (Los Angeles) and Franz Roessler (Chicago), who participated in organizing the event: “With over 1,000 years combined U.S. market experience, member companies have the attitude that by learning from each other, solving problems together and sharing experience and knowledge, we can use negative market conditions to define distinct competitive advantages.”