Austria and Ukraine: Economic Partners

Austria and Ukraine: Economic Partners

Austria and Ukraine are not only geographically close but also intensively connected in economic terms. The strong economic interest of Austrian companies regarding doing business in Ukraine could just recently be seen on the occasion of the visit of the Austrian Federal President Alexander van der Bellen to Ukraine, which was accompanied by a large economic delegation of Austrian businesspeople. Hermann Ortner, Commercial Counselor at the Austrian Embassy, gives an insight into the economic relationship of the countries.

The Advantage Austria office – which is representing the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in Ukraine – organized during the mentioned visit two big Economic Forums Austria – Ukraine in Kyiv as well as in Lviv. Besides interesting presentations about finance and economy-related topics and very high-ranking speakers including the presidents of both our countries the participating Austrian and Ukrainian firms had also extensive opportunities for B2B-talks.
Photo: Austria-Ukraine Economic Forum
One of the most interesting economic sectors in Ukraine is certainly the field of agriculture, for which Ukraine is blessed with excellent natural conditions. Therefore Advantage Austria participated in February again in the important agricultural exhibition “Agro Animal Show” in Kyiv, where Austrian companies could present their products and know-how. For the identification of business opportunities in the field of agriculture Advantage Austria organized furthermore an Austria Showcase with the topic “Agriculture”. In this event presentations by representatives of Austrian companies were held about technologies for the agricultural sector, cattle breeding, etc. for an interested Ukrainian audience of representatives of business and administration.
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Very closely related to the agricultural sector is certainly the forestry, which is especially of economic importance in the western part of Ukraine, where a lot of forests can be found. In order to support the economic interaction also in this field we are planning a participation in the exhibition “Woodprocessing” which will take place in the second half of May in the city of Lviv.
As already mentioned Austria and Ukraine have been enjoying intensive and good economic relations already for a long time. Bilateral trade between the two countries has gone up considerably last year. Austrian exports to Ukraine reached a level of more than 465 Mio. Euro in 2017 which means an increase of 15.9% in comparison to the year before. Austrian imports from Ukraine were even higher and amounted to almost 655 Mio. Euro in 2017, which means an increase of 33.2%. Among the Austrian export goods to Ukraine are traditionally many types of machinery, for example for the agricultural and food sector. The Austrian imports from Ukraine comprise among many other items iron ores and textiles.
Besides the well-developed bilateral trade relations, Austria is also ranking among the ten biggest foreign investors in Ukraine. Austrian companies have been very active in the Ukrainian finance sector for quite some time already where the Austria-related companies Raiffeisen Bank Aval, Vienna Insurance Group, Uniqua and Grawe are well known names. Besides the financial services there is also a number of Austrian companies active in other fields of providing services sectors, e.g. regarding logistics, personnel recruiting and tax advising. In the production sector you may find Austrian economic activities in Ukraine for example in the manufacturing of food concentrates, packaging materials, cables and skiing equipment. Besides Austrian consumer goods such as jams of Darbo, energy drinks of Red Bull or crystal products of Swarovski can be found in Ukrainian shops.
In geographical terms the business activities of Austrian companies are concentrated in the region in and around Kyiv as well as in the western part of Ukraine, which is geographically and historically rather close to Austria. Therefore Advantage Austria has in Ukraine also a small second office which is located in the city of Lviv in order to assist Austrian companies with their internationally session efforts in western Ukraine.
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Due to the fact that quite a number of Austrian companies is active in the Ukrainian market – with own investments or representative offices or project activities, etc. – our Advantage Austria office is regularly organizing “Austrian Business Circles” and other networking-events in Kyiv as well as in Lviv. These events provide useful platforms for Austrian-related companies to exchange ideas about business and to get useful information about important economic topics. Taking into account the intensive efforts of strengthening the economic ties between the European Union and Ukraine - which is reflected by so-called “Association Agreement” which has been concluded between the European Union and Ukraine – we are very positive that there has been created a fruitful environment for even further intensifying of the economic relations between both our countries.
Author: Hermann Ortner, Commercial Counselor at the Austrian Embassy.
Photos provided by Hermann Ortner,

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