Austria is a landlocked country, set in the heart of Europe with a population of scarcely more than eight million people.

It has little in the way of natural resources and relies heavily on its larger neighbour Germany in both import and export terms. Yet despite these seeming handicaps, Austrians enjoy an extremely high standard of living and an economy which is relatively robust. This is, in no small measure due, to the drive and application of those eight million Austrians.

Although the current State of Austria has only existed in its current form since 1955, the country has a long and distinguished history. The capital, Vienna, was for centuries one of the major centres of the European world and as the fulcrum of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was, for a long time, a magnet for the best and the brightest amongst Europe’s intelligentsia.

During the Cold War period, the country managed to steer an impressively neutral path between the two competing super powers and the contacts Austrians managed to develop into the old Soviet Bloc countries during that period now stand them in good stead when developing business contacts in the burgeoning markets of Central and Eastern Europe.

Austria is a country with an auspicious past and a bright future. Perfectly located to take advantage of the development and enlargement of the EU, the country has the human capital and highly developed infrastructure needed to act as bridge between Western and Eastern Europe.
Austria is an attractive business destination with a strong business culture of its own and has significant strength in such distinct areas as banking and finance, precision engineering and bio-technology.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Austria

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Austria. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Austria and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips