Franz Josef Kuglitsch
Ambassador
Embassy of Austria in Mexico
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Austria a Fertile Soil for Industrial Business in Mexico

By Alessa Flores | Tue, 06/30/2020 - 09:42

Q: What are some of the areas that have growth potential in economic and commercial cooperation between Mexico and Austria, and how does the embassy help facilitate this cooperation?

A: Austrian exports to Mexico have increased by 349 per cent since 2010. With a total value of 1.336 million € in exports in 2019, Mexico is ranked 21 among our most important export destinations. Two thirds of the goods exported are machinery and vehicles. Exports in chemical products are developing in a very dynamic way. We see a lot of potential in food products including beverages. The commercial section of the Austrian Embassy, which is part of the global network of trade missions of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, is offering a wide range of services to Austrian companies already active in Mexico or exploring a market entry (advantageaustria.org/mx). We are also working closely with the EU Delegation in Mexico on issues of wider concern, e.g. in the present COVID-19 situation.

Q: Besides economic cooperation, what other type of cooperation stands out between Mexico and Austria?

A: Mexico and Austria share a similar outlook on foreign policy and are strong supporters of an effective multilateralism, the rule of law and nuclear disarmament.  These are natural areas of cooperation in international organizations. Once a year, a high-level political dialogue is conducted. In 2011, the Austrian school in Querétaro was inaugurated and is highly successful. As an Embassy we are also running an extensive cultural program. The recent focus was the commemoration of the Mexican protest against the “Anschluss” in 1938.

Q: What are some of the advantages that Austria offers in terms of foreign investment for Mexican companies? What areas could be of interest to Mexican companies?

A: Austria is a highly industrialized and globalized country and therefore a good terrain for upscale industrial segments, with a particular focus on research and environment friendliness. We offer high stability, moderate corporate taxes (25 per cent, with a research tax credit of 14 per cent) and access to 600 million consumers within 3 hours by flight. So, if a Mexican company is active in these areas and is looking to expand its business to the Central and Eastern European countries or to get a foothold in the European Union, Austria would be the ideal business location. It is no coincidence that 377 international companies have establishes their headquarters in Vienna. The Austrian Business Agency (www.investinaustria.at) can offer advice and help.

Q: Austria is an example of energy efficiency and good practice. What actions is carried out by the Austrian Embassy in Mexico to help environmental protection and energy efficiency? 

A: The commercial section of the Embassy has been organizing quite a few events in the last couple of years on environmental technology, renewable energy, urban mobility and the concept of smart cities. We have also invited Mexican delegations to come to Austria and to see for themselves. What we can offer is showing best practices, advise and the technology on energy-efficient buildings, sustainable energy production, energy grids and storage and smart urban energy services etc.

Q: What could Mexico learn from Austria regarding energy efficiency?

A: Austria is lucky in a way because 67 per cent of our energy mix comes from hydroelectric plants. Renewable energy technologies play an increasingly important role, being it biogas, solar heating and cooling, photovoltaics and heat pumps, this always with a focus on environmental concerns, striving for CO²-neutral energy sources. This requires a mix of measures from creating a public awareness to incentives. The idea is to meet the majority of a house’s energy needs from renewables. An important means of energy efficiency is to invest in public transportation. In Vienna, for example, you can buy an all-year ticket for just 365 €. There are discussions under way for a similar Austrian-wide scheme that would include the railway system. The European Union is rolling out a big “European Green Deal” as part of its economic recovery program. If you would like to learn more about Austria’s capabilities in this regards, I gladly invite you to read our magazine “Fresh View” (https://www.advantageaustria.org/zentral/publikationen/ae/161_Renewable_Energy.pdf), compactly summing up technology made in Austria in this field.

Q: Austria's investment in Mexico has been a trigger for the automotive sector. What other research and business projects does Austria plan to develop in Mexico in the near future?

A: Obviously, not every future project can be named and commented from my side. However, I can mention that there are about one hundred Austrian subsidiaries present on the Mexican market, mostly within the automotive industry. Some companies like Collini (surface technology) and Pollmann International (mechanical or mechatronic modules) use the recently ratified USMCA (T-MEC) as an investment opportunity and are about to establish subsidiaries or to expand their presence in Mexico. Generally speaking: Austria is a leader in niche technologies. Apart from the automotive industry, Mexico can benefit from Austrian expertise in sectors like urban mobility (Doppelmayr, Kapsch Traffic), logistics (Cargomind), plastic components production (Greiner Assistec), plastic transformation and recycling as well as packaging.

Photo by:   Franz Josef Kuglitsch
Alessa Flores Alessa Flores Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst