Michaela Laussegger

Director FDI The Americas

Austrian Business Agency (ABA)

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What does the USA mean for you personally?

I had the immense pleasure to live & work in NYC for several years. During that time & ever since I am immersing myself in US culture & politics and NYC lifestyle. And I am really happy that my current job at ABA Invest in Austria is very much USA related.

What does the USA mean for your company?

ABA Invest in Austria is engaged in attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) into Austria and the USA is a major FDI source country. In my role at the ABA Invest in Austria my team and I are regularly putting Austria on the map of potentially new US investors & corporates.

How important are the relations between Austria and the USA?

The trade and investment relationship between the USA and Austria is robust and backs thousands of new jobs in both countries.

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

An intensified work of government and local agencies on both side of the pond can create more interest in the two trade & investment locations. The work of AmCham in Vienna is a good example on highlighting the two countries’ relations.

How can you/your company benefit more from bilateral trade?

ABA Invest in Austria’s goal to promote the business location Austria does benefit from more bilateral trade & investment. Our agency & US agencies in Austria are strengthening the economic cooperation and collaborating to promote and defend our shared values.

What is Austria better at?

Austrian’s “hidden champions” contribute to a very compelling case for the business location Austria. The fact that Austria is a highly industrialized nation surprises quite often my meetings’ counterparts. Furthermore, an outstanding feature constitutes Austria’s public educational system and especially the vocational training in high school & apprenticeship system.

What is the USA better at?

US companies and managers are highly skillful in product/success story telling about their personal or corporate or national accomplishments. People and culture in the US are very accessible to cross-pollination in any sector of life.

What can we learn from each other?

The US’ entrepreneurial spirit & easy access to start your own business should inspire Austrian legislature and keen entrepreneurs, including the chance to fail.

Austria’s impressive social security system with a lot of transfer services increases our quality of life immensely. Free education, for example, on a comparative level to the US should not be taken for granted and impresses in each conversation.

What has been the best AmCham experience so far?

The Amcham events offer an excellent opportunity to network and e.g. the presentation of Gabriel Felbermayr/WIFO head was very informative, to name one example. Plus, being part of the working group organizing the newly minted EmpowerHer initiative is an amazing chance to collaborate with these gifted managers and to build up a compelling program on this scale.

What do you expect from AmCham?

Connecting people and corporates from both side of the pond on a more informal scale, servings as a networking base for US representatives & the Austrian ecosystem.