Austria and UAE to boost economic ties

28 Mar 2024

Austria and the UAE are seeking to bolster bilateral trade and investment in the coming years, says a senior official.

Markus Susilo, a Trusted Tax and Business Advisor at the Commercial Section of the Austrian Embassy in the UAE, emphasised that both countries are not only committed to strengthening their existing ties in petrochemicals, energy, and infrastructure but are also eager to explore new sectors and avenues to diversify their economic relations. 

“The UAE is not only important for Austrian export industry as a market itself, but the emirate is also vital because of its strategic location and hosts a number of international trade fairs and exhibitions and its catchment area extends from the Indian subcontinent to Africa,” said Susilo.

In 2022, Austrian investment in the UAE increased considerably to a record €11.2 billion, a growth of 110% year-on-year, as per official data published by Austrian National Bank OeNB.

The majority of this investment is allocated to the petrochemical sector, with the UAE ranking 7th among the most significant destinations for Austrian direct investments, Khaleej Times reports.

According to a report from the Foreign Economy Centre Abu Dhabi released in November by the commercial section of the Austrian Embassy, UAE investment in Austria also increased by 7.6% to reach €8.84 billion in 2022.

In addition, Austrian exports to the UAE experienced a notable increase, rising by 23.5% to reach €657.7 million in 2023. 

This surge was predominantly driven by a 7.4% increase in exports of electrical machines, totalling €175.7 million. Also, exports of boilers, machinery, apparatus, and mechanical devices rose significantly by 60.9% to approximately €122.7 million, while exports of vehicles reached around €69.9 million, marking a slight increase of 0.8%.

Furthermore, Austrian imports from the UAE also experienced a significant increase, rising by 20.6% to reach €235.9 million last year. The main imported products comprised electrical machines and electrical engineering goods, mineral fuels and mineral oils, as well as art objects. 

Additionally, Susilo said the Bilateral Investment Treaty, (BIT), penned in June 2001, is one of the key factors driving the strong economic relations between the UAE and Austria.

“The BIT has provided and will continue to provide the foundation for intensive trade relations between the two countries and for safe legal and economic environment for their investors,” he said.