April 24th 2015

Get on top. Stay on top.

Success strategies for the Austrian marketplace.
Josef Pühringer, Governor of Upper Austria

During his powerful speech delivered at MCI Management Center Innsbruck, the governor of Upper Austria, Josef Pühringer discussed ways for the Austrian economy to maintain its edge as a highly skilled and successful marketplace.

In his introduction to Pühringer, MCI Rector Andreas Altmann remarked, “If you stop trying to be the best, you’ve already lost.” Governor Pühringer added in agreement that despite differing structures among the two states, the State [AE1]of Tyrol with its large degree of tourism and the State of Upper Austria with about 25 percent in industrial manufacturing shared the same success factors for competing internationally.

According to Pühringer, Austria ranks above the EU average in terms of international competitiveness. He mainly attributes this to industrial manufacturing, which accounts for a large share of the Austrian economy. Countries with a strong industrial core like Germany, Denmark, Luxemburg or Austria have been able to manage the crisis better than the U.K. or the USA, whose economies are mainly centered on services with strong focus on the financial sector. The French economy, which had undergone deindustrialization efforts, today suffers from high levels of unemployment. Pühringer maintains that countries with a high share of industry generate a more consistent output, are perceived as technical pioneers and produce highly skilled labor.

According to the governor, a clear commitment to the industrial sector is required. The federal government should foster international networks, support exports and attract international corporations to Austria by focusing on providing a business-friendly environment. Pühringer calls for politicians to reduce regulatory hurdles and cut red tape to create a more favorable investment climate. He also recognizes a need to revise and improve education and research policies. To compensate for its lack of abundant natural resources, Austria should invest in education and the innovative power. In a knowledge-based society, well-trained labor is a country’s greatest asset.

Pühringer considers Austria to be on the right track as the country continues to successfully compete internationally. However, celebrating mediocrity should never be the aim of a forward-looking society. Austria should strive to get to the top and remain at the top. To do so, specific ambitious targets must be defined and awareness must be created for an economy’s need to always work hard to attract businesses. Establishing a reputation as a modern and attractive business location is a lasting process that will require continuous effort and improvement.

Pühringer’s speech was followed by a lively discussion lead by MCI Chancellor Andreas Altmann.