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11.07.2012

Bank Austria presents latest business location analysis on Tyrol:
Tyrol improves in federal state ranking to 3rd position

  • Regional economic growth comes in above Austrian average in 2010 at 2.5 percent, with 2.9 percent expected for 2011
  • Crisis-induced downturn in economic activity will be recovered this year
  • Record employment anticipated in 2011 after jobless rate in previous year sank to 6.1 percent
  • Number one destination for tourism in Austria boosts its industrial strength, focusing on technology; continuous expansion of research and development

Tyrol has almost overcome the economic crisis and its appeal as a business location has clearly risen. Number one destination in Austria in terms of tourism, Tyrol is increasingly becoming a dynamic and high-quality location for business and research too, and is therefore climbing its way to the top of the Austrian business tree. These are the basic findings of the latest business analysis on Tyrol by Bank Austria, which was presented today by Bank Austria director Helmut Bernkopf, regional director Markus Sappl and chief economist Stefan Bruckbauer.

"The Tyrolean economy is much more broadly based and diverse than even just a few years ago, it has survived the economic crisis relatively well and has quickly moved back on to an upwards growth trajectory", revealed Helmut Bernkopf, Bank Austria director for Corporate & Investment Banking. "Tyrol now occupies a well-earned third place on the podium among all the federal states. Besides its undisputed position as the top tourism destination in Austria, Tyrol has positioned itself as a top industry location in recent years as well."
Almost 9 percent of value added in Austria is generated in Tyrol, which amounted to EUR 25 billion in 2010. Tyrol managed to climb up Bank Austria's ranking of federal states thanks to its strong GDP growth, the progress made with tourism and the improvement on the labour market. Still ranked in sixth place in 2008, Tyrol has since propelled itself up to third position. Upper Austria remains at number one.

Tyrol – growing in industrial importance
The above-average downturn suffered by the Tyrolean economy in 2009 was followed by an impressively strong upswing. In comparison to the national average of 1.8 percent, GDP growth in Tyrol between 2000 and 2010 amounted to 2.1%, in spite of the crisis-induced contraction. Taking a performance check confirms this positive development. In the categories of location quality, labour market and structural conditions Tyrol comes in above the Austrian average. Only in terms of living standards does Tyrol appear further down the list, despite its high per capita GDP. "In the last two years Tyrol has proven its strong character and exploited its potential as one of the pillars of the Austrian economy. Even though the setback triggered by the crisis will only be fully compensated for in the current year, the turnaround has been impressive. The latest figures reveal above-average developments on practically all levels. The research and innovation offensive launched to boost international competitiveness puts Tyrol in a great position for the global market", said Bernkopf.

High quality business location and favourable labour market climate drive Tyrolean economy
Posting an economic growth rate in 2010 of 2.5 percent, Tyrol has managed to put together a particularly dynamic recovery in the wake of the crisis. This expansion has been driven by the export industry and the services sector (first and foremost trade and business-related services). Generating the fourth-highest export ratio in Austria accounting for 47 percent of economic output and a share well in excess of 20 percent in regional added value, Tyrol has grown in significance as an industry location. "The industrial strength of Tyrol is certainly a plus point in the current global recovery.  In 2010 industrial output was up by 12.4%. Robust growth figures were recorded in particular by the metal industry, mechanical engineering, the timber industry, and last but not least the glass industry", said Bank Austria's chief economist Stefan Bruckbauer, analysing the Tyrolean economy. A distinction must be made in terms of services: Tyrol has continued to expand its tourism potential and focus, but there is still ground to be made up with business-related services in particular. "It is clear that quality is the factor which brings stability and growth to industry and the services sector alike. The massive increase in employment for Tyrolean hi-tech companies of just under 16 percent since EU accession lies far above the national average. In terms of knowledge-based, business-related services the downturn has already been reversed, but there is still a great amount of growth potential here that should be exploited more fully", continued Bruckbauer.

Standards of living in Tyrol are around the Austrian average, but combined with the dynamic trends on the labour market there is a powerful recovery process underway in the long term. "The Tyrolean labour market has survived the economic crisis rather well in comparison to other federal states since unemployment has risen more slowly than the Austrian average. Alongside a high employment rate the jobless rate sank to 6.1% in 2010. Record employment is even predicted for 2011 with a potential fall in the unemployment rate to 5.9 percent", revealed Bruckbauer. "This new employment record is attributable almost exclusively to newly created jobs in the services sector. While industry is also expected to give positive impulses for employment, they will be much more subdued. Current trends on the labour market focus on the need for much higher qualifications, especially given the rising importance of high-technology sectors such as environmental technology or biochemistry for the Tyrolean economy."

Recipe for success – high quality tourism and innovative business location
Its high degree of flexibility and creativity have enabled Tyrol to position itself successfully as a versatile supplier of goods in highly technological areas. This technological boost is also one of the reasons for the heightened innovation of the Tyrolean economy. In terms of research and development – focusing amongst other things on life sciences, bio and nanotechnology and IT – Tyrol has carved out a name for itself as a business location. Overall, research expenditure amounting to 2.4 percent of GDP is still relatively far from the EU target of 3 percent, but creative initiatives are being rolled out with a view to achieving this goal. "To move closer to the objective of a knowledge-based, innovative economy, Tyrolean business policy has to focus on expanding the range of education and training options. In terms of technical professions there is still some work ahead to be able to supply the economy with a sufficient quantity of labour that also exhibits the required quality", added Stefan Bruckbauer.

Tyrol is the undisputed number one tourism destination in Austria and has a versatile industry with a wide range of small and medium-sized businesses. "For us the main future potential for Tyrol lies in the extent to which the Tyrolean economy can penetrate the high-tech sector. Innovative production companies coupled with quality developments from production sectors and backed by intelligent and creative service providers are the key to enjoying success in national and international competition", commented Markus Sappl, Bank Austria regional director for corporate clients. However, just like many other regions, Tyrol can bank on a more or less stagnating workforce in the long term. This is why the innovation and start-up potential already available has to be strengthened considerably, while the consistent approach favouring educational initiatives and bolstering research and development should be continued.

"Tyrol business location brochure" – adviser for economic promotion
Bank Austria would also like to contribute to enhancing the already benign climate for economic players in Tyrol amidst the current economic upswing. Transparent and efficient aid from the public sector represents an important factor completing the circle of favourable economic conditions. The new business location brochure thus contains an overview of European state aid law and the current promotion opportunities available in Tyrol. "The Tyrolean economic promotion programme is designed to strengthen small and medium-sized businesses. Our experts identify the best aid option for each individual Tyrolean company", added Sappl. The full business location analysis is available in all branches of Bank Austria in Tyrol and can also be downloaded from www.bankaustria.at >Bank Austria > Publikationen > Economic Research Österreich > Bundesländer.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Press Office Austria
 Julia Wegenstein, Tel. +43 (0) 50505 – 52854;
 E-Mail: julia.wegenstein@unicreditgroup.at

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