Economic relations between Austria and Ireland began to grow strongly in the early 1990s. In 2011 merchandised trade amounted to €737M while the trade in services accounted for a further €428M. In both cases there was a clear export surplus in Ireland’s favour. Direct investment between the countries however remained at a relatively low level.
There are plenty of business opportunities in Ireland for Austrian exporters especially in niche areas such as environmental protection (waste management, water and sewage), renewable energy (energy efficiency, sustainable heating and power generation), special machinery (e.g. for the agricultural sector) and raw materials for the life sciences sector (pharma and medical technologies). Further opportunities can be found in the public tendering process as the Irish state currently seeks to achieve increased value for money.
In 2011 53,400 Irish visitors spent a total of 235,500 nights in Austria. About three quarters of these overnights relate to the winter or ski season. The most popular federal state was Tirol followed by Salzburg and Vienna. About 50,000 tourists from Austria travel in the opposite direction to the Emerald Isle every year.