Austria is a landlocked federal republic in Central Europe, bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein the west. The country is situated in the Alps and is largely mountainous, with a temperate and cool climate.
Austria was once a significant power in Europe, particularly since the Habsburg dynasty. The Empire of Austria was founded in the nineteenth century, and later shared sovereignty with the Kingdom of Hungary over much of Europe as the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The empire was dissolved at the end of World War I, but the new Austrian Republic was annexed by Germany in 1938. After the Second World War, Austria’s constitution was restored and Austria officially re-established itself as a sovereign state in 1955. Austria is now a parliamentary democracy, divided into nine federal states. It is also a member of the United Nations, the European Union and the Eurozone, as well as the OECD. Austria is also a signatory to the Schengen Agreement.
Austria can be described as a social market economy. Although traditionally reliant on Germany, the economy has forged closer links to other European states through its membership of the EU. Membership of the EU has also increased the flow of foreign investment into Austria. Important industries include food, luxury commodities, mechanical engineering, steel construction, chemicals, and vehicle manufacturing. Tourism is also an important source of revenue. GDP growth rates since the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-8 have been modest but positive.
Austria has one of the most valuable passports in the world. It is also the only EU country that offers high net-worth investors a direct route to citizenship with no prior residency requirements. With its enviable location, robust and diversified economy, high quality of life, and breath-taking natural landscape, it is an ideal location for the investor seeking citizenship in an EU state.