Foreword by the Austrian Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs for the FMRS 2015

BEILAGE_Porträtfoto_HBM_KurzHow to create sustainable growth in Europe and beyond is of paramount importance as most European countries are facing risks of prolonged stagnation and deflation. After having been able to overcome the worst economic crisis in decades, policy-makers and other stakeholders at both the European and the national level continue to be focused on securing robust economic growth. Our companies are meanwhile also confronted with high levels of volatility.

In addition to effective macroeconomic policy-making, the further promotion of innovative entrepreneurship has to be put at the centre of our efforts. Especially in the face of tough international competition, our entrepreneurs rely on the government to create a business-friendly environment generating jobs and therefore securing higher living standards. As a consequence, helping our companies to fulfil their potential in the global marketplace is one of the main priorities of the Austrian Foreign Ministry.

It is in this light that, besides other economic activities such as the negotiations of bilateral investment agreements, we focus our work on providing services to Austrian businesses at home and abroad in cooperation with the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. With our unparalleled network of over 100 diplomatic missions abroad, the Foreign Ministry can offer a significant spectrum of valuable assistance to Austrian companies, ranging from political support to networking and to the provision of important information about a foreign country. Furthermore, we organise numerous events together with the Austrian business community such as “Business meets Diplomacy” in order to establish regular contacts between our ambassadors and company representatives.

Efforts have to be coordinated among a wide range of stakeholders in order to successfully deal with the challenges outlined above. This is exactly what the 2015 Free Market Road Show is trying to facilitate and therefore I would like to wish you a lot of success.

Sebastian Kurz

 Federal Minister of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs