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The following OECD assessment and recommendations summarise chapter 2 of the Economic survey of Austria published on 13 July 2007.
More proactive policies would help deepen regional integration with Central and Eastern Europe
There remains scope for further economic integration with Central and Eastern Europe, but this is hampered by missing infrastructure. Joint public/private sector policies stimulating theselinks such as the “Internationalisation Initiative” can continue to promote mutually beneficial regional integration. Immigration flows as well as cross border commuting are an important driver of regional integration and have strongly developed with direct neighbours, but further immigration from Central and Eastern Europe remains controversial. Despite this unease, labour flows between European Union Members are due to be fully liberalized from 2009 on. A further postponement until 2011 is only possible in the case of severe disruptions in the labour market caused by immigration from the new EU member countries. Labour markets should be prepared for a possible increase in immigration flows from the new EU Member States. Fully building on these labour flows to further stimulate employment and growth in Austria by filling potential skill shortages should be considered. Thanks to its favourable geographical location and strong historical ties, Vienna has already become an important hub for multinationals operating in the region. However this potential is not fully developed as yet and a deliberate strategy would help cultivate it further. Reducing remaining bureaucratic hurdles faced by multinational enterprises, concerning notably the short and long-term residence of their personnel, as well as upgrading road and rail connections to eastern European capitals (to the standards of western connections) have been identified as priorities. Concerning the latter, the new coalition government has already taken important steps. All these measures should be part of such a strategy, together with the measures mentioned above to prepare the labour market.
Importance to Austrian economy of trade with Central and Eastern Europe
Austrian trade (exports and imports of goods) as per cent of GDP
1. CEEC5 is for Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic and Slovenia.
2. CEEC14 is for Albania, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro and Ukraine.
3. CEEC19 = CEEC5 plus CEEC14.
Source: Statistics Austria.
Austria trade and FDI with Central and Eastern Europe (CEEC19)1
As per cent of GDP
1. CEEC19 is for Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro and Ukraine.
Source: Statistics Austria, Austrian National Bank (OeNB).
How to obtain this publication
The Policy Brief (pdf format) can be downloaded in English.
The complete edition of the Economic survey of Austria 2007 is available from:
For further information please contact the Austria Desk at the OECD Economics Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. The OECD Secretariat's report was prepared by Rauf Gonenc and Rina Bhattacharya under the supervision of Andreas Wörgötter.