This primarily means the expansion of broadband Internet and 5G, from which rural areas in particular would benefit.
Of the almost 94 billion euros in productivity potential, 85 billion euros could be raised by expanding digital connections, according to the expert panel of the Future Business Austria (FBA) initiative, which publishes the infrastructure report every year. Four fifths of the Austrian managers surveyed for the report demand that the goal by 2030 must be nationwide broadband coverage. Three quarters expect the expansion conditions for 5G to be made easier.
Measure against rural exodus
Business operators expect the positive effects of a comprehensive 5G infrastructure to be an increase in the attractiveness of rural areas, an expansion of new work models such as home offices, and new training opportunities and careers. This could counteract rural exodus and relocate companies.
The massive shortage of IT specialists has become even worse: more than half of the managers surveyed for the report complain that they are currently lacking IT specialists in their own company. They would like to make it easier to recruit foreign IT workers and set up technical training in the field of artificial intelligence.
The focus of this year’s location and infrastructure symposium is also on securing the supply of energy, raw materials, medicines and food. The report uses international best practice examples from Finland and Switzerland to show what an integrated supply security concept for Austria could look like.
Slipped in the rankings
When it comes to competitiveness, the authors of the report see Austria in a downward trend and also refer to the ranking of the Lausanne business school IMD, in which Austria has gradually slipped from 14th place to 24th among 64 countries since 2010. The managers surveyed for this year’s report see it similarly: only one in three believes that Austria is very or somewhat competitive in an international comparison. In 2020 it was 61 percent.
- The 21st Future Business Austria – Location and Infrastructure Symposium 2023 will take place on Monday at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce and will be streamed live on www.architekturreport.at.