2020 proved to be a successful year for the Austrian national investment promotion consultancy ABA – Invest in Austria in spite of the coronavirus crisis. ABA consults and supports international companies and startups free of charge in locating their business operations or expanding in Austria. The proportion of companies from Central and Eastern Europe already increased in the past years. Every fifth company investing in Austria was already from the CEE/SEE countries in 2019, and even every fourth firm in 2020. The crisis year was the suitable time for them to position themselves in a new and attractive market and appeal to new customer segments. “These results show us that Austria is an attractive business location, also in times of crisis. Many innovative technology companies and startups come from the CEE/SEE countries, such as the Czech technology consultancy Trask and the Hungarian medical technology company Lookinmed. Austria is an ideal location for them due to its central geographical position in Europe. Many companies use Austria as the starting point for the prosperous DACH region with 100 million consumers”, states Birgit Reiter-Braunwieser, Director Central and Eastern Europe and Startups at ABA – Invest in Austria.
Austria, a secure location in times of crisis
Austria is particularly suitable for startups and SMEs as a market for expanding abroad. The Austrian market is manageable in terms of its size and quality against the backdrop of the population’s high purchasing power. Nevertheless, Austria is comparable to Germany, its large neighbour, making it an ideal test market. A company succeeding in this country can take further expansion steps into the DACH region and Western Europe. These advantages are complemented by favourable business location factors such as a high level of stability and security, an outstanding infrastructure and a good investment support system which makes Austria a very interesting business location, especially in times of crisis. This has also been confirmed by András Réti, founder and CEO of the Hungarian startup Lookinmed, who founded a company in Austria in the past year with the support of ABA: “Austria offers a highly reliable and balanced economic, social and legal environment deeply engaged with R&D and innovation. These factors have made Austria the ideal location for us to further develop our robotized camera system to digitize non endoscopic surgical and other healthcare procedures for educational purposes. ABA has helped our team of Hungarian media production experts and surgeons to establish Lookinmed Services GmbH from scratch”.
Of the 88 CEE/SEE companies locating in Austria in 2020, fourteen are from Russia, thirteen each from Hungary and Slovakia, twelve from Czech Republic and ten firms originated in Slovenia.