Business and investment in Austria

Business and Investment in Austria:

Google finally maps missing Austria!

Google street view

Google Austria



Google’s Street View cars started on Thursday taking images in Austria, the only EU country along with Germany to remain largely absent from the popular online service showing 360-degree pictures of places around the world.
Hopefully this will also have the effect of getting the outside world more interested in Austria as an investment possibility for business.

The project, launched in 2007, lets computer users view panoramic street scenes on Google Maps and take a virtual “walk” through cities.

The photos are processed in the United States, where details such as faces and registration plates are automatically blurred before being published on Google Maps.

Some countries have been reluctant to grant Google access because of worries linked to data collection.

In 2010, Google had begun to roll out its service in Austria and neighbouring Germany but was ordered to halt operations over alleged privacy breaches.

The company admitted that vehicles had accidentally recorded personal data from wireless networks.

Although Austria lifted its temporary ban a year later, Street View decided not return to the alpine nation — until now.

The fresh start was timed to coincide with Street View’s 10-year anniversary, Google said in a statement.

Cars equipped with special cameras will tour Vienna, Linz and Graz until November.

“The official launch of Street View in Austria is expected to happen in six to twelve months,” Google Austria spokesman Wolfgang Fasching-Kapfenberger told AFP.

Under Austrian law, Street View cars will only be allowed to capture photos but not videos.

The service still has a very low penetration rate in Germany, which has some of Europe’s strictest privacy laws due to the abuses under its Nazi and communist dictatorships.

As a special concession to privacy concerns, Germans can have their homes or businesses pixelated, as well as opt out of the service altogether.

Source: The Local – Google.


Glock firing on all cylinders


Austrian handgun giant Glock, a major supplier to police forces worldwide and whose weapons are also hugely popular for private use, saw sales soar 55 percent last year, a press report said Monday.

The privately owned company, which does not publish results, saw revenues rocket to 501.6 million euros ($555.7 million) from 322.2 million euros in 2014, Austrian weekly Wirtschaftsblatt reported.

Net profits for the firm, controlled by 87-year-old founder Gaston Glock, more than doubled to 96.7 million euros, the report said, citing company filings.

The company’s report said it is “very optimistic” for business in 2016, boosted by rising demand in its number one market the United States, Wirtschaftsblatt said.

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Demand is strong for models marketed at private individuals like the 9mm Glock 43, ideal according to the company for “your everyday concealed carry needs”, and the 42 for “shooters with smaller hands”.

Source : The local.

Foto; Glock.


Reports suggest Apple Car will be built in Austria

Rumours that a highly anticipated electric car from Apple could be built in Austria have been strengthened following a report in a German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

a well-placed source inside the electronics giant suggested that lead product designer Steve Zadesky had been making regular trips to Austria in relation to the project.

If the project does in fact come to fruition it will be a great for Business and investment in Austria.

It was thought that Apple may be looking to partner with Austrian vehicle manufacturer Magna Steyr.  It has produced more than a million vehicles for BMW and also produces the Mercedes G-Class at its plant in Graz.

The rumour that the Apple Car will be built in Austria by Magna Steyr is again circulating, following a recent report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Further to the reports about an Austrian link, the newspaper claims that Apple has hired twenty “progressive thinking” young professionals who are currently working on “Project Titan” in a secret laboratory in the Berlin.

Quoting “informed sources,” they also reported that the car will not appear until 2019 at the earliest.  It is alleged that it may not be self-driving, as has previously been reported.


Austrian banks caught up in Panama Papers leak!

Raiffa international bank








Raiffeisen Internal AG.

Austrian banks have become entangled in one of the biggest ever data leaks exposing how the some of the world’s richest and most powerful public figures hide their wealth in secretive offshore bank accounts.

The Panama Papers investigation is a cross-border collaboration of journalists in 80 different countries who analysed 11.5 million records leaked from the offices of an international law firm based in Panama.

Around 500 banks or subsidiaries and 140 politicians and public figures were connected to offshore companies. this was found in the research carried out by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The Consortium spent over a year studying records leaked from the Panama-based law firm Mossak Fonseca.

Austrian banks Raiffeisen Zentralbank (RZB) and Hypo Vorarlberg were mentioned in the investigation as helping wealthy individuals move money to offshore accounts to avoid paying tax.

From 2002 Raiffeisen reportedly helped the current Ukrainian President Petro Poroschenko with tax avoidance, according to the magazine Falter that, along with the broadcaster ORF, took part in the investigative collaboration.

The bank is said to have dealt with a $115 million credit (€131 million) in an offshore account in the British Virgin Islands connected to Poroschnko’s confectionery empire Roshen.

The Ukrainian president is one of 12 current or former world leaders among the 140 politicians exposed in the report.

Hypo Vorarlberg, a member of the Hypo Alpe Adria company that had to be rescued by the Austrian government after failing to pay back loans of €19 billion, has also been connected to 20 offshore businesses.

Keeping money in offshore bank accounts is not illegal and both banks say they complied with all the necessary regulations.
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“RZB of course fulfilled the legal obligations,” Raiffeisen spokeswomen Ingrid Krenn-Ditz told the Kurier newspaper.

Hypo Vorarlberg also emphasised that laws are “rigorously” complied with to help “prevent money laundering.”

Source: The Local


Siemens wins Saudi trains bid

Saudi Arabia has ordered a new range of Austrian-built metro trains. With 3 different classes to make sure passengers know their place!

siemans super trains

Photo: Siemens

More Business and investment in Austria….Gold-coloured seats adorn the first class section of the trains, which is almost exclusively for men of a higher class and rank.

Then there is a “family class” which is for women if they are being accompanied by a man, a husband or a family member, as well as children.

And then after that there is a “worker class” in which mostly single men who do not have a significant status or class are allowed to travel.

The trains have been designed so that although it is technically possible to go from the first class to the family class, presumably so the men in first-class might speak with their wives or children, the section to the third class part of the carriage is closed, giving them no access to the rest of the train.

Unveiling the new trains which are being created by Siemens in Austria, the firm explained that this was to stop the men travelling from peering through and looking at the women on the other side. It can only be opened in an emergency such as a fire.

The first class seats are noticeably larger than all the others, as well as the gold cover while the family class and third class have silver and red coloured seats. But in the case of the third class section, there are only a few, with most of the carriage comprising standing room only.

The trains have been designed to drive themselves meaning the question of whether the driver is a man or woman would not ever occur. The plan is for the trains to travel through tunnels or over huge bridges all the way through the Saudi capital Riyadh, which at the moment despite its size has no metro network.

It is being designed so that there is no need for the trains to turn around, with the lines in circles so that the last station is also the first in the city of 6.5 million.

Source: The local


Future of transport……….  8 mins from Bratislava to Vienna!!

train from bratislava

Camilo Sanchez/Wikimedia

A transport system straight out of a science fiction film that would cut train rides between Vienna and Bratislava down to just eight minutes could soon be a reality.

A deal has been struck, between the company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Slovakia to introduce the 700 mph tube-like transport into their systems.  The first testing stages are planned for 2020. This is a major boost for Business and investment in Austria.

The Hyperloop transport system works by using a semi-vacuum tube to send small passenger pods down at high speeds, an idea originally thought up by Elon Musk, an entrepreneur who heads up Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

The idea was deliberately left open for others to develop by Musk and several companies are working on turning the concept into a reality.

This deal is the first time a project using this technology has been proposed outside the US, where a few companies are already exploring the idea.

 Source: The Local

Border controls in Tirol ‘major blow’ for tourism

The president of the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKÖ) has criticised the strengthening of border controls in Tyrol and instead called for a strategy to integrate migrants into the economy.

Hikers Tirol

Hikers in Tyrol. Photo: Laurin Moser/Tirol Werbung

Speaking to the Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper, WKÖ President Christoph Leitl said that the last thing he wants is a fence at the border.

His comments follow the government’s announcement earlier this month of tighter border controls. This will include fences and increased police patrols, introduced along Austria’s southern borders. This will hopefully stem the flow of refugees and migrants into the region.

How will this affect Business and investment in Austria? Tourism bosses have also added their concerns to the mix, warning that increased border controls are a major setback to an already struggling tourism industry in Tyrol.

Integration not fences

Referring to the history of Tyrol, the southern region of which was annexed by Italy in 1918, Leitl said: “One hundred years ago Tyrol was torn apart and for 100 years we suffered for it.

Two decades ago Europe brought us together again. Today there is the European region of Tyrol. I am proud of it.  If you say Europe is a model of peace, then Tyrol is the best example of this.”

He added, that Austria should focus on integrating migrants into the economy.  It cannot expect to sustain the current influx of workers, particularly in the health and social care sector. Particularly from countries like Slovakia or Hungary as these regions improve economically in the coming years.

“Therefore we must prepare ourselves today. We will be grateful one day to the refugees, if we not only receive and accommodate them but also train them and involve and familiarise them with our values system,” he said.

“With every risk – which we have at this time – there is also an opportunity. Politics must define how it deals with borders and the economy must define how it deals with integration.”

Up to 30 percent drop in tourism

His comments come amid concerns that controls at Austria’s borders will lead to a “major setback” for tourism in the region and for Business and investment in Austria.

According to the WKÖ head of tourism Petra Nocker-Schwarzenbacker, Tyrolean ski areas have seen a 10 percent to 30 percent fall in the number of guests during the current winter season.

Theurl hopes that the state of emergency will only last a year.  Tourism researcher Peter Zellmann warns that small and medium businesses in the region are under estimating the seriousness or duration of the situation.  “Just going back to business as usual is not a solution,” he said.

Source:  The Local


 New search for oil in Upper Austria

Austrian oil and gas prospecting firm RAG for Business and investment in Austria, has said it will drill for oil in Pfarrkirchen near the Upper Austria.

Upper Austria’s Traunviertel region is rich in fossil fuel deposits, according to geologists. Currently, crude oil is processed in Kremsmünster and then transported by train to the OMV refinery in Schwechat.

RAG has said it plans to have eight drill sites in Upper Austria during 2016, with the first planned for Pfarrkirchen.  RAG expects to extract between 30,000 and 50,000 tonnes of crude oil in the next ten to 30 years from the Pfarrkirchen site alone.  This is a major increase for Business and investment in Austria.

Geological conditions promise a 40 to 60 percent chance of finding an oil reservoir. This is according to RAG expert Johannes Süss.

Initial discussions with local communities and landowners have already taken place.  But some residents in Pfarrkirchen told the ORF state broadcaster they are worried that their quality of life will be affected by noise, dirt and possible damage to buildings from the drilling rigs.

Below are links to Austrian Business and trade associations that can help with all business enquiries and able to give advice for Business and investment in Austria.

The e websites are in English, so no stress with translating to get the facts that you need for investment in Austria.

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