Austria-India Bilateral Relations and Business Opportunities

India and Austria enjoy a friendship that spans more than six decades of their existence as modern nations. Austria was among the first countries with which independent India established diplomatic relations in 1949. Therefore, historic and long-standing economic relations exist between our two countries.

To give an ample example of the historic relations: The world’s first LD steel-making plant ever implemented outside Austria was built at Rourkela in 1958. From that early beginning Indo-Austrian economic cooperation has come a long way and Austrian companies have participated in many prestigious projects over the years.

India has been a very important trading partner for Austria. Bilateral business has developed dynamically over the last years, but there is still huge potential to further develop economic relations between our two countries. Austria offers world-class products and technologies across many different sectors and can complement India’s need in developing and upgrading its industries and infrastructure, especially in the framework of the “Make in India” campaign. Austria possesses expertise in niche areas like environmental protection technologies, high-tech machinery and industrial equipment or civil engineering among many others. 

Indo-Austrian Trade Relations 

The trade volume between Austria and India exceeded the 1 billion EUR mark already years ago. According to the preliminary statistics from Austria regarding January -October 2016, Austrian exports are estimated at EUR 636 Million goods (+ 11.1%) and imports at EUR 662 Million goods (+ 10%). Additionally, the Austrian direct investments in India accounted for EUR 370 Million and direct investments from India to Austria for EUR 135 Million (figures from Austrian statistics for 2015).

Austria’s most important exports to India are machinery and engineering products for diverse industries, like infrastructure, railway, energy, environmental technologies, automotive industries and more traditional sectors like plastic, steel or packaging industries. The other main exports items include manufactured goods made of stone/plaster, garments, accessories, boilers, processors and chemical products. Thanks to a growing middle class in India, luxury consumer goods are picking up slowly and hopefully will soon be an integral part of the available offer in India’s shops from Austria.

On the other hand, Austria buys a nice mix of products from India, comprising traditional sectors like textiles, handicrafts or spices, but also machinery, machine tools and IT equipment. Austria’s most important imports from India are electrical machines, engineering products, vehicles, garments, accessories, shoes and chemical products.

Several important agreements have been concluded between our two governments over the years. In 1999 the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement were signed to further boost economic ties between India and Austria.

Since 2005 an Agreement on Infrastructure Cooperation in the Health Sector and since 2007 an Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation are strengthening cooperation in these important fields. Most recently, in July 2015 an Agreement on social security entered into force.

Business Opportunities 

Today we count more than 130 Austrian subsidiaries and joint ventures in India – roughly half of them with their own production facility. Austrian technology is in high demand in India, especially in sectors such as environment, energy, education, infrastructure, railways and engineering. With new opportunities arising under the Modi government, there is even greater scope for bilateral trade between our countries.

Austrian businesses are focusing on a vast number of areas, such as automotive, railways, infrastructure (energy, tunnelling, bridges), iron and steel, food processing, chemical/pharmaceuticals/plastics, tourism, environment, waste management and luxury/consumer goods.

In particular, Austria is one of the leading countries in environmental technology. Thanks to the very successful ”green technology”, Austrian companies (eg VATech Wabag, s::can Messtechnik, Andritz) enjoy an excellent reputation worldwide. Both companies and research organisations can boast a high level of specialised know-how in sustainable construction, waste management, innovative energy solutions and resource efficiency.

In addition, the motor-vehicle industry (for example AVL, Magna Powertrain, Zizala) is a key driver of overall Austrian industrial production. Here, the automotive supply industry makes an equally important contribution, as any request for any vehicle can be fulfilled in Austria. The spectrum ranges from autobody sheets to glass panes, exquisite leather to entire seats, from gear wheels to complete powertrains.

This comprehensive range is complemented by an array of services, from software development to project development for prototype production. Furthermore, there are many well-established and innovative Austrian companies (for example Plasser & Theurer, Efkon, Getzner, Frauscher, VAE VKN, Geoconsult, Doppelmayr, Kapsch Telekom) in the transport sector that are taking the international lead in many technology sectors such as rail technologies, rail infrastructure, motor development or traffic telematics.

Commercial Section of Austrian Embassy in New Delhi

The Commercial Section of the Austrian Embassy in New Delhi, together with its two offices in Mumbai and Bangalore, actively promotes business cooperation between Austria and India. We try to broaden the basis of Austrian companies established in India, as well as to introduce new companies to this promising market. To reach these objectives, we regularly organize trade events in Austria as well as visits of Austrian trade delegations and fact-finding missions to India.

In addition, the Commercial Section of the Austrian Embassy in New Delhi is integrated in the network ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, constituting the organisational framework of all Commercial Sections of Austrian Embassies worldwide. The services provided by ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA offices range from introductions to Austrian companies looking for importers, distributors or agents to providing in-depth information on Austria as a business location and assistance in entering the Austrian market. Please consult our website www.advantageaustria.org for more information about this. 

ABA – Invest in Austria

The Austrian Business Agency (ABA), which is the national investment promotion agency of the Republic of Austria, is the first point of contact for foreign investors. In 2016 ABA provided professional consulting services to more than 300 international companies setting up business operations in Austria.

In view of the latest technologies offered by Austria as well as the increasing opportunities in India, we see excellent chances for greater mutual cooperation, because Austria’s Business Landscape is Surprisingly Ingenious!