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OECD Economic Surveys: Austria 2007

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Austria 2007

This 2007 edition of OECD's periodic survey of Austria reviews recent developments in its economy and examines current challenges including Austria's deepening economic integration with Central and Eastern Europe, overcoming labour market segmentation, improving innovation, and rationalising fiscal policy and strengthening public expenditure management.

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Austria's deepening economic integration with Central and Eastern Europe

The Austrian economy has benefited substantially from the expansion of economic ties with Central and Eastern Europe, which has provided a significant boost to growth, productivity, competitiveness, profits – and (more controversially) aggregate employment. Indeed, among the older EU member states, Austria has benefited the most from the transition of the Central and Eastern European countries from planned economies to market economies, and the subsequent entry into the EU of the ten new member states, mostly from Central and Eastern Europe, in 2004. However, important segments of the population in Austria, and in particular low-skilled and semi-skilled workers in the manufacturing sector, appear to have been adversely affected by these developments.There is thus a need for policy measures to help those segments of the workforce that have had difficulty coping with growing competition from Central and Eastern Europe. Furthermore, more can be done to make Austria a more attractive location for highly skilled and well qualified expatriate workers and to maintain Vienna’s position as a central hub for multinationals operating in the region. These include in particular the need to strengthen eastern transportation links and to reduce to a minimum bureaucratic hurdles and red tape for foreign enterprises seeking to operate out of Vienna.

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