Vienna, 10 September 2003 - Combined, the international organisations, multilateral representations and bilateral embassies located in Vienna produce a direct and indirect demand for goods and services with a total of nearly 800 million euros per year. Furthermore, about 10,200 jobs are directly or indirectly attributed to Vienna's international organisations.
These are the core findings of a study carried out by the consultancy Pricewaterhouse Coopers on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which was presented by Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner in Vienna today. "The political and diplomatic value thus arising for Vienna cannot be expressed in terms of money", said Ferrero-Waldner. "The fact that this raises Austria's profile on the international stage is beyond doubt. Nevertheless, we wanted to take this opportunity to present some hard figures and provide absolute concrete proof of the positive effects on the Austrian economy, housing market and education and training sector," the Foreign Minister added.
A further aspect of the study relates to the savings ratio and consumer behaviour of diplomats based in Vienna. Approx. 180 million euro (27 %) of the annual disposable household income of the international civil servants goes into savings. Out of the remaining 132 million euro available for household consumption, 126 million euro are being spent in Austria. "These findings highlight the economic importance of the international community in Austria", said Willibald Cernko, Member of the Board of Bank Austria Creditanstalt.
A number of Austrian companies recognised the economic significance of Austria's international community at an early stage and adapted their services to the needs of this important target group. Austria's largest bank, Bank Austria Creditanstalt, for example, which also co-funded the present study, started to specialise in providing services for diplomats back in 1959, when it opened a separate desk at the International Atomic Energy Agency. Today, the bank's international community business segment services 11,000 diplomats, representing a customer share of 80 percent in Austria. 75 staff speaking 15 different languages serve this client groups at eight locations.