Austria’s economic relations with the Asia-Pacific region
Asia and the Pacific
Asia and the Pacific, which accounts for around 60 percent of the world's population and almost 50 percent of global economic output, continues to be one of the fastest growing regions in the world. According to forecasts, Asia will contribute around half of global gross domestic product in 2050. Asian countries also became much more important for the Austrian economy. According to data for 2021, the dynamic Asia-Pacific region now accounts for 11 per cent of Austria’s two-way trade in goods. After a pandemic-related decline in 2020, Austria's trade volume grew by 22 percent to a value of 37.4 billion euros in 2021, compared to a global average of only 19.9 percent.
The Asia-Pacific region was able to recover faster from the economic effects of the COVID 19 crisis compared to other regions in the world. Despite very restrictive pandemic control measures in some countries, Asia-Pacific continues to be a hub of world trade and the engine of future world economic growth. For example, India's projected growth of 8.2 percent for 2022 is well above the global average (3.6 percent); China is still at 4.4 percent. In 2021. Austrian exports to the region have recovered and are already exceeding pre-crisis levels, with over 18 percent year-on-year growth of goods shipped from Austria to Asia-Pacific. Imports from the region are increasing at an even faster rate. In 2021, the value of Austrian imports was around 25 percent higher than during the same period in 2020. Thus, Asian countries are important export and procurement markets as well as partners for the Austrian economy.
The ongoing deepening of political and economic integration - exemplified by the "Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership" (RCEP), a trade agreement in force since 1 January 2022 - will further underpin the relative position of the Asia-Pacific region in the world economy. Australia, Brunei, China, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam are members of this trade alliance. The world's biggest trading bloc comprises 2.3 billion people and about one-third of the global GDP.
According to data from Statistics Austria for 2021, the share of total Austrian export of goods to the region was 8.2 percent in 2021. China continues to be Austria’s largest goods export market in Asia and the Pacific (2.9 percent of Austria's total exports), followed by Japan (1.0 percent), South Korea (0.8 percent), Australia (0.7 percent) and India (0.6 percent).
Austrian exports surged at sharpest pace to Afghanistan (year-on-year growth of +123 percent), Taiwan (+35 percent), Singapore (+34 percent), New Zealand (+30 percent) and Pakistan (+28 percent). Austrian exports declined to Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Thailand.
Within Asia, one has to note the growing economic and geopolitical importance of Southeast Asia and the ten individual nations - boasting impressive growth rates - that make up the powerhouse of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Austria’s export-oriented economy subsequently was able to benefit from this development: Trade with the ASEAN countries almost doubled in the period from 2010 to 2020. After a pandemic-related decline in 2020 (-11.1 percent), two way trade in goods grew by 22 percent in 2021. Trade with the ASEAN region accounted for 1.7 per cent of Austria’s total trade in 2021. Close-up, three countries stand out for their trade volume of over 1 billion euros each: Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. Austria’s export-focused economy also can benefit from European Union (EU) trade agreements with Vietnam and Singapore. Other EU trade agreements with individual ASEAN countries might follow in due time, in the last years the EU initiated trade negotiations with Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Finally yet importantly, Australia and New Zealand warrant our attention. In 2021, Australia was the seventh most important overseas export destination after the USA, China, Japan, South Korea, Canada and Mexico. Expectations for a bright future are high: Among others, the EU is currently negotiating a trade agreement with Australia; the EU-New Zealand trade agreement was signed on 30 June 2022.
Asia and the Pacific: firstname.lastname@example.org