Austria Tries Image Revamp Away From Mozart, Mountains

Austrian companies are attempting to revamp the country’s image, aiming to highlight its industry rather than its culture and tourism.

A group of 17 companies, including Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI), Voestalpine AG (VOE) and OMV AG (OMV), together with the Austrian National Bank and the Vienna Stock Exchange have started the initiative, which was the brain child of Raiffeisen Chief Executive Officer Herbert Stepic and is headed by Central Bank President Claus Raidl.

As part of the enterprise, the chief executive officers of the companies have agreed to meet with “opinion leaders” whenever they go on investor roadshows to the U.S. and the U.K. and highlight the “hidden champions” of Austrian industry, Raidl told reporters in Vienna yesterday.

People often have an “undifferentiated” picture of Austria, Raidl said, adding that the initiative cost a few 100,000 euros a year to pay public relations companies in London, New York and Vienna.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zoe Schneeweiss in Vienna at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Tirone at jtirone@bloomberg.net

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