On behalf of the Foreign Ministry, the IHS Institute for Advanced Studies recently renewed its Host State Study from 2018. The economic impact which the international organisations, diplomatic missions and events of the international organisations and international schools have on Austria was examined.
The study shows that the effect is huge:
Austria as an official seat secures almost 19,000 jobs in Austria. This is significantly more than, for example, the Vienna General Hospital and the Wiener Linien public transport company combined,
explained Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. Calculated in full-time jobs, this gives more than 15,400 jobs. Compared to the last study in 2018 this figure has also grown significantly, with a 4% increase in the 15,440 full-time equivalent jobs and a 5% increase in the total of 18,490 jobs.
1.35 billion euros in gross value added, which corresponds to an increase of 3%, is the impressive figure that clearly shows the value of international organisations for Austria. The Foreign Minister is convinced:
Austria can rightly be proud of being an official seat. However, we do not only have a presentable business card abroad, we also have an economically valuable resource at home.
Therefore, the Federal Government has combined the regulations and framework conditions, which previously existed in separate federal laws, in one law with the new Host State Law, which provides a better overview for those interested in locating in Austria. In addition, by reducing bureaucratic hurdles for international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and quasi-international organisations and their employees and families, the aim is to increase the attractiveness of Austria as a location.
The main location of the international organisations is the City of Vienna, but the provinces also benefit with 483 million euros per year. The added value is mainly generated in the hotel industry and services related to events. The treasury benefits with around 527 million euros in revenue in the area of taxes and duties.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken things up this year. Of course, this also includes the way we maintain international relations,
explains Foreign Minister Schallenberg.
Diplomacy has moved almost entirely into the virtual sphere, including at the UN’s office site in Vienna.
Major international conferences, for example, were postponed or held in hybrid form. Here, too, the approval of vaccines is a decisive step towards normality.
We hope that with the start of vaccinations Austria will once again live up to its international reputation as a meeting place and a place for dialogue. Because one thing that 2020 showed us quite dramatically was that crises and conflicts cannot be influenced by a virus. We need direct exchange and personal discussions more than ever. Otherwise there is a danger that supposedly cold conflicts will flare up again very quickly,
warns Schallenberg in conclusion.