Strengthening Independence Regarding Critical Products

WIFO Research Brief Analyses Austria as a Business Location
The COVID-19 pandemic, but also the increasing geopolitical tensions, have given new weight to the question of relocating the production of "critical products".

As a recent WIFO Research Brief by Michael Klien, Michael Böheim, Matthias Firgo, Andreas Reinstaller, Peter Reschenhofer and Yvonne Wolfmayr shows, Austria's dependence on imports of both COVID-relevant products and key technologies is limited to a few areas – the bulk of critical goods stem from trading partners within the EU.

For the remaining areas, the study identifies the extent to which the respective goods fit the Austrian industrial structure (technological proximity, competitiveness), which would facilitate possible national production. Furthermore, a regional analysis examines which federal provinces offer favourable conditions to produce the various critical goods. Finally, it becomes clear that the state, as a central provider of health services, has a large demand lever for many COVID-relevant products and could therefore directly influence the value chains in some areas.