Hannes Richter

Opening of the Austria Center New York

Hannes Richter

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Mr. Bruno Freytag, Austrian Trade Commissioner in New York
Mr. Michael Breisky, Consul General in New York with wife Luise
Ms. Elena Freytag
Ms. Eva Nowotny, Austrian Ambassador to the United States
Mr. Walter Koren, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Head of Foreign Trade

In summer of 2003 the Austrian Trade Commission New York and the Austrian National Tourist Office took up their new residence, sharing accommodations in the center of Manhattan. On February 12, 2004, the Head of the Worldwide Austrian Trade Commission, Dr. Walter Koren, officiated at the opening of the new Austria Center New York. "Combining trade and tourism is unique," claimed Austrian Trade Commissioner, Bruno Freytag, at the opening. "With our new office close to Times Square, directly in the heart of New York, we bring Austria’s economic interests directly to the center of American economic life. We are the major focal point of Austrian and American economy."

Some 150 guests attended the opening, including a number of prominent people from areas of economics and politics, such as the Austrian Ambassador to the U.S., Eva Nowotny, the Consul General in New York, Dr. Michael Breisky, Ambassador Pfanzelter of the Austrian delegation to the United Nations, Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York, Christoph Thun-Hohenstein and Director of Foreign Trade at the Trade Commission, Walter Koren. Moreover, guests from the international arena such as the sister of the Mayor of New York, Marjorie Tiven, Counselor for International Affairs of the City of N.Y. and Representative of the Governor of N.Y.

During the opening speech, Walter Koren and Bruno Freytag pointed out the importance of the U.S. being Austria’s third largest trading partner. As Koren stated, "During the last ten years, the sum of imports and exports between the two countries have more than doubled. While in 1993 it totalled 2.7 billion dollars, the volume of trade is currently at about 6 billion dollars." Also the reciprocal investments of the two countries have increased over the last few years. The final numbers reveal that U.S. investments in Austria currently amount to about 3.1 billion dollars whereas Austrian companies invested about 2.4 billion dollars in the U.S. "Through direct investments, over 40,000 jobs have been created in both countries," said Koren.

Austrian Trade Commissioner Bruno Freytag looks optimistically into the future: "The U.S. is a most promising market for Austrian companies, also in view of the bright economic prognosis. We will continue to strongly promote our firms in the United States."