Martin Butollo

Country CEO Commerzbank Austria

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What does the USA mean for you personally?

I have always been fascinated by the diversity of the country from the East Coast to the West Coast. Therefore, the USA was my first travel destination after my graduation, and I have visited the US many times since. Also, I am a great fan of American music and movies. 

What does the USA mean for your company?

The USA is a significant market and strategic partner for our company. However, operating in the US financial market requires careful management of regulatory and compliance obligations. Nonetheless, the US market offers many opportunities for growth and innovation in the financial sector, which can be beneficial for Commerzbank seeking to stay competitive. 

How important are the relations between Austria and the USA?

Austria and the USA have a longstanding relationship based on shared values of democracy, human rights and free trade. The relations between Austria and the United States are important, particularly in areas such as trade, investment, security and scientific research. Austria, as part of the EU also makes the relationship important in the context of the US’s broader relationship with the EU. 

How can the relationship between the two countries be improved and intensified?

Austria and the USA can improve and intensify their relationship by strengthening economic ties, security cooperation, promoting cultural and academic exchange and collaborating on global challenges.

What does it take to get more out of, to actively push trade?

To actively push trade between Austria and the USA, both governments must work to reduce barriers to trade, promote business partnerships and increase awareness of the benefits of bilateral trade.  

What is Austria better at?

It’s difficult to generalize what Austria is better at than the USA, as both countries have different strengths. Austria has a strong social welfare system, emphasis on environmental sustainability, and cultural strengths.

What is the USA better at?

The USA has strengths in areas like technology, innovation and entertainment, as well as scientific research. Both countries have unique strengths and it’s important to recognize and appreciate these differences. 

What can we learn from each other?

Austria and the USA can learn from each other in areas such as economic policy, security and defense, culture and arts, higher education, research, diplomacy and international relations. By sharing experiences and collaborating, both countries can benefit from each other’s strengths and expertise. 

What has been the best AmCham experience so far?

Meeting so many interesting and international people in the course of the various excellent meeting formats of AmCham.