“The political situation in Austria has been stable, as you would expect, even more so, given that a new government is in place following the elections we had last year,“ reports Florian Klimscha, Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Vienna. “Also the interim government – largely made up of experts and public officials – that was in place during the recent coalition talks was up to the task.“
The new government is good for business, he says. “It’s good to have a government that is now more output-orientated and does not only consist of experts," he says, "and that does more than mere administrative functions.“ According to Klimscha, "we have seen focus being placed on both improving the business environment and on making development to be sustainable.“ Indeed, to that end, he reports, the new government is expected to put greater value on green financing.
Klimscha reports that changes to the tax code resulting in generally lower taxes will be rolled out over the next year and a half, "with one focus on the tax on wages and the corporate tax.“
He adds that, while there are not a lot of infrastructure projects currently in development in Austria, the ones that do exist are particularly noteworthy. “The Glass Fibre infrastructure project in Lower Austria started last year and it has already seen major investor interest,“ he says. In addition, he says, he expects to see changes in the automotive supply industry in Austria. “Given the recent occurrences in this area in Germany, I believe we can expect to see a spillover into Austria, which I think may result in some restructuring of the sector.“
Ultimately, he's upbeat. “Even though it is still early to say what kind of an impact the new government will have on business,“ Klimscha says, "compared to what the economy went through in the previous year and a slight dip we’ve found ourselves in – I feel that it’s circling back to doing good.”