Bilateral Profiles and National Agencies > Austria

General information on Austrian development cooperation

The Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (MFA) is the focal point for cooperation with developing country governments and is tasked with maintaining coherence in Austrian development cooperation. The Ministry is responsible for the overall strategic direction of Austria’s development cooperation and the programming of official developme nt assistance (ODA), while the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), a limited liability company fully owned by the Austrian Federal Government, is the implementation arm of development cooperation. Prior to the creation of ADA in 2003, the MFA administered close to 6% of Austria’s ODA directly, but today the development cooperation programmes and projects are implemented by ADA jointly with public institutions, international and non-governmental organizations and enterprises. The major horizontal themes of Austrian development cooperation remain: (i) poverty reduction; (ii) peacekeeping and safeguarding human security; and (iii) preservation of the environment and protection of natural resources. The thematic focus continues to be in the fields of water and sanitation, rural development, renewable energy, private sector development, good governance and education. Geographically, Austrian overall aid is focused on the poorest countries in Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa, as well as the Himalaya−Hindu Kush region and South East Europe/Southern Caucasus.

Aid for Trade (AfT) Strategy

Austria’s Aid for Trade Strategy was first laid out in the Federal Government’s Three-Year Programme (2007–2009) as one of its “new” orientations for development cooperation, and has since been refined in the most recent, updated Three-Year Programme (2008–2010). These policy papers are the central planning documents of Austria’s development programme. Austria’s Aid for Trade Strategy has been elaborated with the EU Aid for Trade Strategy, which was adopted in October 2007asa backdrop, and is an extension of its private sector strategy, focusing on sectors of engagement where Austria has gathered experience from its past development cooperation, namely areas related to building and strengthening supply capacity, trade-related capacity and trade infrastructure. The Austrian Federal Development Cooperation Act defines “….combating poverty in the developing countries by promoting economic and social development ….” as one of the three main objectives of Austrian development policy, and the overall aim of Austria’s AfT strategy is to complement its on-going initiatives for poverty reduction, private sector development and job creation. The following areas of intervention form the backbone of Austria’s AfT strategy:

  • Promoting production capacities: improving the framework for private investments and business start-ups and, above all, easing SMEs’ access to financial services and management know-how. Moreover, since a growing portion of international trade takes place in transnational supply chains based on the division of labour, ADC foresees a more active participation in facilitating developing countries to become integrated in the global supply chain or global production networks.
  • Financing trade-related infrastructure: participating in multilateral infrastructure programmes. Austrian development cooperation already contributes to the Infrastructure Trust Fund under the EU Africa Infrastructure Partnership, which has a particular bearing on trade through its focus on regional or continental interconnectivity.
  • Supporting initiatives for fair trade in order to promote local economies: supporting the HORIZON 3000 initiatives and the work undertaken with the NGO IEW – Braunau.
  • Supporting regions: supporting regional organizations and institutions for regional convergence as well as the implementation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).

Austria’s AfT financial package is based on the EU’s pledge to raise its annual AfT funding to €2 billion a year by 2010 (€1 billion from the European Community and€1 billion from the member countries). While no specific figure has been announced by the Austrian Government, it indicated in the 2008 Aid for Trade Questionnaire that its levels of contribution would remain in line with the 2007 allocations as recorded in its OECD DAC Aid for Trade CRS profile (i.e. US$ 54 million). However Austria does warn that the volume of aid which was channelled to the Transport and Storage Category in 2007, US$21 million compared to US$1 million in 2006, is not likely to be matched in succeeding years.

Austrian AfT is guided by the principle of “division of labour” amongst EU Member States. The Austrian Development Agency and its implementing partners therefore focus their interventions on a defined range of projects and interventions, which predominantly fall under supply capacity and trade infrastructure. Below are some examples of ongoing and pipeline projects:

  • Contribution to the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund and to multi-donor initiatives such as the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), which is a coalition of donors mobilising private sector investment to assist developing countries to provide infrastructure vital to boosting their economic development and combating poverty;
  • Projects focusing on investment (such as the Investment Compact for South East Europe), the business climate and global supply chains;
  • Annual contribution to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF);

Support for UNIDO in quality assurance and metrology, in collaboration with the EU. These projects are likely to be implemented in the West and Southern African region by regional organizations, such as ECOWAS, SADC, EAC, etc.

Austria also plans to step up its cooperation in the sector of fair trade initiatives, and sees sectors such as rural development and micro, small and medium enterprises as entry points for its AfT programmes. Another entry point with a regional dimension is that of interventions aimed at improving the investment climate, with a clear focus on the South East European (SEE) region. In cooperation with international and multilateral organizations like the OECD and the World Bank, regional initiatives like the Investment Compact for South East Europe or REPARIS aim at creating a better investment climate in the long term. In the area of trade finance, in 2008 the Government launched the Austrian Development Bank (Oedb/ADB). The ADB, now in the early stages of its operation, currently supports trade-related private sector projects under its mandate. Although not purely ODA-related, the ADB is poised to become an important financing outlet for Austrian development cooperation.

The geographical focus of Austria’s AfT interventions partly mirrors that of its overall development cooperation strategy. It focuses, in particular, on Southern and West Africa, Central America, South East Europe and the Southern Caucasus. While interventions are foreseen at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels, regional and multilateral initiatives are given priority in order to uphold the principles of aid effectiveness. In particular, Austria channels its ODA through international and multilateral institutions such as the WB, IMF, WTO, ITC, UNCTAD and UNIDO. Regional projects focus, especially, on economic infrastructure and, more particularly, on the energy sector. Energy is one of Austria’s focal sectors and, as such, forms part of its regional programmes in Western Africa and Southern Africa. Interventions are commonly undertaken in partnership with regional organizations (e.g. the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and in cooperation with other bilateral donors (e.g. Finland) and multilateral donors (e.g. UNDP). The Energy and Environment Partnership with Central America is one successful example of a wider AfT engagement that includes a regional dimension. Regional economic infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa is further targeted by way of contributions to the EU/EIB Infrastructure Trust Fund, a European-African initiative on cross-border infrastructure (mentioned above).

Finally, to improve aid effectiveness, Austria is increasingly moving towards the adoption of a mix of funding modalities, ranging, as we have seen from the above list of on-going projects and pipeline projects, from joint financing programmes and participation in multilateral trust funds to joint EC programmes, in particular regional programmes.


Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy 2007 – 2009 (revised version) − Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs

Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy 2008 – 2010 − Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs − Revised version 2008

Austria Aid for Trade Questionnaire 2008

Principal official agency responsible for TCB assistance to developing countries

Austrian Development Agency (ADA)

Zelinkagasse 2

A-1010 Vienna

Tel: +43 1 90 3990

Fax: +43 1 90 399 1290


ADC Information Desk

Tel: +43 1 90 399 2411



Austrian Development Agency (ADA): The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) is the operational unit of Austrian development cooperation. The Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (MFA) sets the development cooperation strategies and programmes, while ADA implements these in partnership with public institutions, non-governmental organizations and enterprises. It is in charge of implementing all bilateral programmes and projects in Austrian development cooperation’s partner countries and administers the budget earmarked for this. ADA supports countries in Africa, Asia and Central America as well as in South East Europe in their sustainable social, economic and democratic development. The Agency is responsible, on behalf of MFA, for preparing, administering and contracting out projects and programmes set out in the Austrian Three-Year Programmes. To this end, ADA has 15 coordinating offices in partner countries to coordinate activities and conduct dialogue with the local and federal public institutions. This three-year programming exercise defines the key development policy positions and strategic framework for Austria’s development cooperation. The division of labour between MFA and ADA ensures the coherence of Government development policy and the efficient implementation of the statutory provisions in the Federal Development Cooperation Act.

For more information: E-mail: and

Other government and official agencies with responsibilities directly relevant to TCB

Austrian Development Bank Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG

Strauchgasse 3

A-1011 Vienna

Tel: +43 1 5 331 2000

Fax: +43 1 5 331 200 5252



Austrian Development Bank (OeEB/ADB): The Austrian Development Bank (OeEB/ADB), the official development bank of Austria, was set up in 2008 as a subsidiary of the Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG (OeKB) and acts on behalf of the Federal Government. It supports commercially self-supporting private sector projects in developing countries that meet developmental criteria (such as poverty reduction, employment generation, gender relevance and know-how transfer), through various instruments, such as equity contributions, mezzanine finance, fund participation, participating interests in banks, long-term loans, refinance lines for banks and co-financing with other European development banks and international financial institutions. The Bank is entrusted with a clear developmental mandate in pursuance of the goals and principles of Austrian development policy as per the Federal Development Cooperation Act and the specifications of the current Three-Year Programme. The Bank also supports regional programmes and allocates close to 20% of core business to Least Developed Countries. The Austrian Development Bank operates along precisely defined lines with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

For more information: E-mail: and

Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs

Minoritenplatz 8

A-1014 Vienna

Tel: +43 190 1150 or +43 1 501 1500

Fax: +43 1 904 20 160


Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs

The Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) supports countries in Africa, Asia, Central America and South-East and Eastern Europe in their sustainable social development, economic and democratic.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) plans the strategies and programs, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) implements these together with public institutions, NGOs and companies um.weitere public actors.

Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO)

A-1045 Vienna, P.O. 100

Phone: +43 (0)5 90 900

Fax: +43 (0)5 90 900 5678


Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO): The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber is responsible for the coordination and representation of the interests of the Austrian business community at national and international levels. Its services to its members are: (i) information and advisory service; (ii) collective bargaining with unions; and (iii) economic promotion and development, training and consulting. It also houses AUSTRIAN TRADE, the official Austrian foreign trade promotion organization, and the largest provider of services in the area of foreign trade., powered and operated by AUSTRIAN TRADE, offers easy access to the nearest AUSTRIAN TRADE office and to all relevant information on business and trade information on Austria.

For more information:

Austrian Standards Institute (ON)

Heinestrasse 38

1020 Vienna


Tel.: +43 1 213 00

Fax: +43 1 213 00-355

E-mail: office(at)

Austrian Standards Institute (ON): This is a neutral and independent service organization – not a federal authority or agency. As a private non-profit association (Österreichisches Normungsinstitut), it has, since 1920, provided the platform for the development of norms, rules and standards. The legal framework for the activities of the Austrian Standards Institute is the Standardisation Law (Normengesetz) of 1971. As the Austrian member of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), it enables and coordinates Austrian experts’ participation in the development of European and international standards. It is also the WTO national enquiry point for technical barriers to trade (TBT). Since 1998, its know-how and competence have brought benefits to organizations, enterprises and public authorities in different parts of the world, from Eastern Europe, to South East Asia and the Mediterranean countries.

For more information: E-mail: and



Wiedner Hauptstraße 63

1045 Vienna



AUSTRIAN TRADE: AUSTRIAN TRADE, part of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and based on an agreement between the Federal Economic Chamber and the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is the official Austrian foreign trade promotion organization. It is Austria’s largest provider of services in the area of foreign trade, giving comprehensive advice and practical support to over 15,000 foreign trade firms. Its head office is in Vienna and it has a worldwide network of foreign trade offices, liaison offices and appointed representatives, and foreign trade experts in the regional economic chambers. Its main tasks are to: (i) inform its customers about export markets; (ii) introduce Austrian firms abroad and bring business partners together; (iii) provide advice from the initiation to the realisation of transactions; (iv) assist with problems; and (v) service foreign buyers, foreign business delegations, trade missions and third country programmes.

For more information: and

Other official or government trade-related organizations

Austrian Business Agency (ABA-Invest in Austria): This is the Austrian national investment promotion company and is the first point of contact for foreign companies aiming to establish their own business in Austria. It is owned and operated by the Republic of Austria, and reports directly to the Austrian Ministry of Economics and Labour. The services provided by ABA-Invest in Austriaare free of charge: professional consulting services to firms interested in setting up business operations in Austria, focusing on all issues relevant to selecting an appropriate location, and with detailed information about Austria as a business location. It also proactively approaches potential investors:

For more information: E-mail: and

Austrian Business Council for Sustainable Development (respACT): respACT is the leading promoter of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable development in Austria. It emerged in October 2007 from the fusion of the Austrian Business Council for Sustainable Development (ABCSD) and respACT Austria. respACT’s key activitiesare communication and public relations, exchange of experiences and knowledge transfer and education. Socially responsible companies focus on five fields of action: organizational leadership, the marketplace, the workforce, and environment and society. respACTis the leading platform for activities in the areas of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable development and initiated CSR Austria. It also leads in Austrian Government-sponsored CSR programmes, in particular inSouth East Europe (SEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). respACT is financed through the contributions of its member companies and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, the Federation of Austrian Industry, the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth, the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management.

For more information: E-mail: and

Customs − Directorate General IV: Directorate General IV, the Directorate General Customs and International Tax Issues is part of the Federal Ministry of Finance. It secures tax revenues, achieves the necessary international presence and provides services and advice on tax issues to its customers. Its tasks are in the areas of, amongst others: (i) the management and organization of tax and customs authorities; (ii) combating fraud and providing a tax ombudsman service; (iii) international tax issues and customs issues relevant to customs in different international organizations, the EU, and bilateral and multilateral contacts; (iv) customs policy, customs procedures, customs law and tariffs; and (v) prohibitions and restrictions on imports and exports, and issues concerning the origin of goods and preferential customs in relation to non-EU Member States. The sub-directorate Customs and Consumption Duties (IV/B) deals, in particular, with the management of tariffs, and international projects and programmes. The Customs Directorate has undertaken a number of twinning projects with SEE and CIS countries with a view to supporting the alignment of customs procedures with EU standards in the framework of the IPA 2008 programme.

For more information: E-mail: and

Joint Vienna Institute (JVI): The JVI is an international training institute located in Vienna, Austria. It was launched in 1992 by five international organizations and the Austrian authorities to respond rapidly to the large demand from economies in transition for the training of officials in market economics and the free enterprise system. The JVI offers a comprehensive programme of approximately 60 seminars, generally of short duration, in specialized topics that reflect the expertise of its various sponsoring organizations. These seminars are aimed at mid-and senior-level officials and private sector managers in transition economies and focus primarily on practical policy issues relevant to economies in transition. The JVI’s training program, which is developed in consultation with the recipient countries, has the following principal objectives: (i) to provide comprehensive training on a broad range of operational issues and problems encountered in managing a market economy, particularly in policy formulation and implementation; (ii) to foster the development of networks of officials across the transition economies; and (iii) to provide opportunities for nationals of transition countries to gain first-hand experience of an advanced market economy (Austria). It also organizes international conferences in such areas as Global Trade, the WTO, etc. The Joint Vienna Institute is supported by five international organizations and the Austrian authorities (Oesterreichische National Bank and the Ministry of Finance).

For more information: E-mail: and

Research Centre in International Economics (FIW): FIW supports and connects the Austrian scientific community in the field of international economics in order to advance know-how and scientific and economic policy-oriented discussions on issues in international economics, and offers a platform for publishing and discussing research results. The Centre was initiated by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth (BMWFJ) as part of an internationalisation drive. It is a collaboration of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), the Vienna Institute for International, Economic Studies (wiiw), and the Computing Centre for Economics and Social Sciences (WS). One of its flagship projects is the Center of Excellence on International Trade, which provides the appropriate infrastructure and assistance for a research community in international trade, i.e.: (i) the development of a research programme which assists external political decisions and activities related to the European Union and other multinational organizations in a sustainable fashion; (ii) easy and transparent access to relevant databases; and (iii) encouragement and enhancement of the development of know-how on foreign economic affairs in Austria and a review of the fundamental global and Austrian developments in foreign trade.

For more information: E-mail: and and

Non-governmental organizations involved in TCB

HORIZONT3000: HORIZONT3000 specialises in the monitoring and implementation of projects and in the provision of experts in developing countries. It has partner countries in Central and South America, in Southern, Western and Eastern Africa and in Asia and Oceania. It carries out technical assistance programmes in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Nicaragua and Papua New Guinea. The HORIZONT3000 programmes concentrate on four main fields, mostly in rural areas: (i) rural development; (ii) health; (iii) education; and (iv) civil society, human rights and democracy. It receives funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation2 (ADA), the European Union, individual Austrian county and municipal authorities and various national and international development initiatives and non-governmental organizations.

For more information:

Initiative Eine Welt (IEW – Braunau): IEW works in partnership with ADA for the implementation of development projects, supporting programmes in Africa and Latin America. Since 1978 its interventions have focused on small projects to the benefit of the poor. IEW fosters the principle of ownership by supporting project ideas and initiatives which come from the South. It has, over time, supported projects in chocolate making in Nicaragua and jewellery design in Sudan and in fashion design, amongst others.

For more information:

Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw): wiiw is a non-profit organization established in 1973 as an independent research institute. The primary emphasis of its research activities is on: (i) analysing and forecasting economic developments in the countries of Central, East and Southeast Europe (including Turkey), the major CIS countries and China; (ii) analysing structural developments in those countries, such as sectoral patterns of growth, labour market trends and industrial competitiveness, supplemented by industry studies, reviews of foreign direct investment and assessments of foreign trade specialization; (iii) conducting studies on the integration of new EU members, focusing on such challenges as catching-up, sustained growth and macroeconomic stability, and integration into the major macroeconomic policy frameworks of the EU, the Growth and Stability Pact and the EMU; and (iv) performing comparative analyses of global developments such as the growth and patterns of structural change in Asia and the countries of Central, East and Southeast Europe, the role of foreign investment, patterns of trade specialization and production networking, exchange rate arrangements, and the coordination of macroeconomic policy. Research results are issued in one of the Institute’s series of regular publications or jointly with international publishers. Topical analyses and forecasts are also disseminated at press conferences or in press releases. The Institute has established a number of databases that provide exhaustive statistical data on the countries of Central, East and Southeast Europe.

For more information: E-mail: and

TCB cooperation initiatives with UN/International agencies and bilateral partners

In particular, Austria channels its ODA through international and multilateral institutions such as the WB, IMF, WTO, ITC, UNCTAD and UNIDO.

In the area of trade capacity building, the energy sector is of particular interest to Austria. Interventions in the energy sector are commonly undertaken in partnership with regional organizations (e.g. the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWASand in cooperation with other bilateral donors (e.g. Finland) and multilateral donors (e.g. UNDP).

ADA (the Austrian Development Agency) has entered into a strategic alliance with the World Bank until 2014.

Selected TCB programmes and initiatives in this guide


  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in South East Europe (SEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)


  • Investment Compact for South East Europe
  • WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF)


  • ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ERC)
  • High quality cocoa for finest chocolate from Nicaragua
  • Support to the Ethiopian shoe industry


  • Programme of Accounting Reform and Institutional Strengthening – REPARIS
  • Strengthening Auditing and Reporting in the Eastern Partnership countries (STAR-Initiative)


  • Business Partnerships Programme (BPP)
  • Ecoprofit for Sustainable Mongolian Entrepreneurship


  • New computerized transit system (NCTS) for Croatian Customs


  • Austrian participation in the EU-Africa Trust Fund for Infrastructure
  • Austrian participation in the PIDG


  • Austrian Development Bank (OeEB/ADB) Microfinance Enhancement Facility (MEF)
  • Support to the Unibank − Azerbaijan