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Austria - Exports help Austrian climbing equipment maker reach the summit

EU trade deals help Austrian company grasp new markets around the world.

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  • South Korea
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Founded in 1996 in the Austrian Tirol, AustriAlpin makes climbing, mountaineering, air sports and workplace safety equipment. It has grown steadily over time, boosted by exports.

The product range includes AustriAlpin's patented safety buckle, of which more than 1.7 million were sold in 2015. Located in an area with a strong metalworking tradition, AustriAlpin continually looks to develop new products for different uses and markets.

All AustriAlpin metal products are created in-house, which keeps delivery costs low, protects the environment and provides jobs in the region. The firm employs 75 people in production, while 11 work for its sales subsidiaries.

By eliminating customs duties, the 2011 EU-South Korea trade deal helped AustriAlpin to start doing business there and strengthen its position. It now hopes to expand further in Asia.

Some 20% of sales are from exports to Canada. The EU and Canada have worked together on economic issues since the 1950s and have developed a close partnership on challenges such as the environment, energy and regional stability. They intend to strengthen their relationship on matters of trade, investment and foreign policy with new agreements in 2016.

Thanks to EU trade deals, the company exports about 80% of its products and this is expected to rise in the next few years. In 2015, AustriAlpin's total sales were worth €8.5 million, of which €7.1 million came from exports.

As a result, AustriAlpin has hired two people for its sales and distribution team. By the end of 2016, the firm plans to create three more jobs and invest a six-figure sum in production equipment.

Find out more about the EU’s trade relations with South Korea and Canada