Hannes Richter

The Washington Office of the Austrian Trade Commission

Hannes Richter


The Austrian Trade Commission, the foreign trade service operated by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, assists Austrian companies with “doing business” abroad.  It has 107 offices in more than 70 countries around the world, including the U.S., where the primary office is located in New York City.

Nella Hengstler, Deputy Trade Commissioner and a Commercial Attaché at the Austrian Embassy, heads the Washington, D.C. branch office, which has been relocated close to the World Bank.  As Austrian IFI (International Financial Institutions) Liaison Officer, she provides advice and assistance to Austrian companies wanting to participate in projects of the World Bank and the IDB (Inter American Development Bank). Her office informs Austrian companies about upcoming projects and tenders, arranges meetings with key personnel and organizes trade missions to D.C. and seminars in Austria while expanding the network at the Bank and other institutions. “Everything in D.C. is done through contacts and informal meetings. It is very easy to get the right information when you know whom to ask, but you can easily end up running in circles when you don’t find the right door,” she explains.

Apart from the Bank related agenda, the D.C. office also assists Austrian companies in all matters related to export controls and public procurement. Ms. Hengstler also obtains first-hand information on U.S. trade policy and maintains close contact with Federal government agencies, industry associations, chambers and research institutes. This represents a very broad scope of work for a small team consisting only of Ms. Hengstler and an assistant. But as she puts it “we are trained to ask the right questions and find practical solutions and we don’t waste time with subjects that will not contribute to “more business” for Austrian companies”. All other US related trade issues - exports, sourcing, financing, research corporations, technology transfer, group exhibitions and the establishment of subsidiaries – are handled by the Austrian Trade Commissions in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

To learn more about AUSTRIAN TRADE and its services and service centers in the U.S., please visit their website: http://www.advantageaustria.org/us/

Austrian Embassy - Commercial Section
818 18th Street, N.W., Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20006 USA
Tel.: +1 202 537 5047
Fax: +1 202 537 5048

Nella Hengstler has been working for the Austrian Trade Commission for the last six years. She joined the Foreign Commercial Service of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber after finishing her law studies in Austria and was posted to the Trade Commissions in New Delhi for three years and Berlin for two years  before moving to Washington, D.C.  a couple of months ago.