More About Austria
Located in Central Europe, Austria borders Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The total area of this landlocked country is 84,000 km2 with only a quarter that is low-lying. The official language, German, is also the mother tongue of 88.6 % of the population.
Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy consisting of nine federal states. It is one of six European countries that have declared permanent neutrality and includes the concept of everlasting neutrality in the constitution. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the EU in 1995. The country plays an active role in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other international economic organizations.
- Vienna, the European capital of classical music, has been a centre of musical innovation since the early 1500s
- The country is the birthplace of a number of world-famous composers such as Mozart and Strauss
- Ludwig van Beethoven spent the better part of his life in Vienna
- Austria is one of Europe's most heavily forested countries
- Austria has a great variety of flora and fauna, including endemic species that are under preservation
- More visitors than ever took a holiday in Austria in 2015 (39.4 million arrivals)
- There are 20,000 organic farmers in Austria, the highest per capita worldwide
- Austria's handicrafts are famous worldwide - most notably fine hand-crafted items, costume jewellery, ceramics and glassware
- Austria is the leading generator of hydro-electric power in the EU
Austria is the fourth richest country within the European Union, with a GDP per capita of approximately USD 41,077 (2014). Since becoming a member state of the EU it has gained closer ties to other EU economies, reducing its economic dependence on Germany. Membership in the EU has also drawn an influx of foreign investors attracted by its access to the single European market and proximity to EU aspirant economies. Austria's service sector generates the vast majority of its GDP.
Austria's economy relies on its export market with main exports including machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, paper and paperboard, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles and food stuffs.
Vienna has established itself as the gateway to the East and aims to expand trade and investment in the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe. Viennese law firms and banks are among the leading players in business with the new EU member states.