Austria - Country Commercial Guide
Selling to the Public Sector
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The Austrian public sector spent around $65 billion for goods and services in 2022. That amounts to nearly 14% of Austria’s GDP. Here’s what you need to know to enter the Austrian public procurement process:

  • Around 70% of the total procurement volume is for delivery and transportation services, including rail and bus services. Other major categories of spending are health and education services, goods and equipment for transit and transportation purposes, IT services, and IT hardware and software.
  • Regulations and thresholds depend on the product/service and the tendering entity. In most cases, a public procurement of less than $107,000 can be made as a direct sale. This is also the most common type of public procurement.
  • Procurements that exceed the direct purchase threshold and are subject to EU regulation must appear on the TED database. Designed to make public procurement accessible to a larger pool of qualified bidders, the database can be searched by vendors according to a unified set of codes. The list of codes can be found here: For detailed information governing the public procurement market in the EU please see the EU single market public procurement website and the U.S. Commercial Service European Union Country Commercial Guide.
  • Though government procurement regulations are generally transparent and carefully followed, tendering entities usually develop projects in cooperation with long-time consultants or trusted vendors. As a result, they are often custom-tailored to describe a particular product. Procurement specifications are generally released in German, and often include (local) service agreements. For all these reasons, U.S. firms interested in government tenders in Austria are well-advised to establish a local presence, either directly or through a local partner, to build the necessary relationships of trust with potential clients.
  • The U.S. and the European Community are signatories to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), which grants access to most public supplies and services and some work contracts published by national procurement authorities of the countries that are parties to the Agreement. In practice, this means that U.S.-based companies are eligible to bid on supplies and services contracts from European public contracting authorities above the agreed thresholds.   
  • U.S. companies bidding on government tenders may qualify for U.S. Government advocacy. A unit of the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, the Advocacy Center, coordinates U.S. Government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public sector contracts with international governments and government agencies. The Advocacy Center works closely with our network of the U.S. Commercial Service worldwide and inter-agency partners to ensure that exporters of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance of winning government contracts. Advocacy assistance can take many forms but often involves the U.S. Embassy or other U.S. Government agencies expressing support for the U.S. bidders directly to the foreign government. Consult Advocacy for Foreign Government Contracts for additional information.

Financing of Projects

Projects in Austria are financed by private sector, the public sector, and/or EU resources.

EU project financing may be available to entities of any size or sector that qualify to participate in projects advancing EU interests. EU financing programs may be tapped by entities including companies, as well as public sector bodies from EU member states such as cities and regions to support local infrastructure projects.

The Austrian federal government, and to some degree provinces and municipalities, finance major infrastructure projects primarily directly with their own resources or with specially created financing vehicles. In 2021, for example, the Austrian government budgeted €6.9 billion ($8.1 billion) for road, rail, and real estate projects. Public entity financing examples include the highway financing ASFINAG company that finances most road projects through toll revenues backed by government guarantees. Infrastructure projects administered by these entities are eligible for additional EU funding, for instance, several ASFINAG-run Austrian road infrastructure projects are co-funded by the European Commission through the Connecting Europe Facility program. Another example is the modernization and renovation of Vienna’s General Hospital noted earlier which is being financed through a cost-sharing arrangement between the City of Vienna and the Austrian Federal Government.

Specialized financing entities such as Austria’s Kommunalkredit AG focus on sustainable infrastructure and other projects that are realized at a provincial, county or city level. Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) are becoming an increasingly common way to finance urban projects and are often eligible for additional EU funding.