Foreign Affiliates Statistics (FATS)

Results for reference year 2017 in short

By the end of the year 2017, almost 11 500 Austrian enterprises operated under foreign control, i.e. they were part of an enterprise group with a decision center (global headquarter) located outside the country. In total, these enterprises employed a workforce of more than 620 000 people on annual average and produced a turnover of over 260 billion Euros. At the same time, Austrian units controlled some 6 000 enterprises abroad. In these businesses 1.14 million persons were employed, contributing to a total turnover of more than 400 billion Euros.

Compared to the total number of profit-oriented enterprises (NACE Rev.2 sections B-N plus division S95) resident in Austria, foreign controlled enterprises accounted for

  • 3.4 per cent in number,
  • 21.0% (one fifth) in employment,
  • 34.6% (more than one third) of total turnover,
  • and 27.4% (more than a quarter) of total value added (at factor costs).

For R&D expenses, foreign controlled enterprises contributed even more than one half (53.1%).

Foreign affiliates in Austria were mainly controlled by group heads resident in Germany (for 39% of the foreign controlled units), Switzerland (11%), Italy (6%), the UK, the Netherlands, and the United States (from 4.8 to 4.4% share each).

On the other hand, Germany traditionally also is the main destination for the establishment of Austrian controlled units abroad. 14% of all foreign affiliates and 12% of the total employment in foreign units 2017 (some 140 000 jobs) were located in the same-language neighboring country.

Beyond that, and as in the years before, Austrian enterprises (Austrian as well as foreign controlled ones) concentrated their activities abroad in the “new” member states of the EU, namely

  • in the Czech Republic, where 9.2% of the total employment in Austrian affiliates abroad were counted,
  • in Romania and Hungary with 6.9 and 6.7% of foreign employment, respectively,
  • and in Poland (4.9%) and Slovakia (4.3%), the latter still counting for more nearly 50 000 jobs a year.

A similar share (4.7%) was also accomplished by foreign affiliates in the UK. Besides the Member States of the EU, the highest numbers of persons employed in Austrian controlled foreign enterprises in 2017 were found in the United States (5.3% of foreign employment), the Russian Federation (3.9% overall share), China (3.2%) and the Ukraine (2.7%).

In total, affiliates in EU countries counted for two thirds (66%) of all foreign units, other European countries for 14%, Asia for 9% and the Americas for 8%. Affiliates in Africa represented only 1% of foreign units; countries classified as offshore financial centers added up to 2.3% of the units and 1.0% of total foreign employment.

Trends 2016 – 2017

After rather moderate growth in 2016, development of figures on foreign affiliates gained momentum in 2017 (see table below). The number of foreign affiliates abroad increased by 2.0%, that of domestic affiliates by almost 6%. The latter was also reflected in the increase of the persons employed (+4.7%) and turnover produced (+6.8%) in domestic affiliates. For affiliates abroad, the same indicators rose by 6.1% and even 7.2%, respectively.

Almost half of the employment gains in affiliates abroad were realized in retail trade (+26 000 jobs); turnover figures mainly went up in wholesale and retail trade (1/5 of the total gain each), and in trade and repair of motor vehicles and in activities auxiliary to financial services and insurance (1/6 of the total gain each).

As concerns figures for foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria, besides the overall good economic situation in Austria (total employment in market sector business went up 2.4%, total turnover by 5.7%) improvements in data coverage might also have some moderate effect on the 2017 data.

 2014201520162017Percentage change 
2015-2016
Percentage change 
2016-2017
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria
Number of enterprises10 37710 73110 83311 472+1.0%+5.9%
Number of persons employed, annual average566 414576 212595 073622 998+3.3%+4.7%
Turnover, mill. EUR244 951237 292246 181263 010+3.7%+6.8%
Austrian affiliates abroad
Number of enterprises5 9795 8635 8795 997+0.3%+2.0%
Number of persons employed, annual average1 064 9101 075 2011 078 2821 144 408+0.3%+6.1%
Turnover, mill. EUR417 297354 798381 511408 796+7.5%+7.2%

On the statistics

A main feature of national economies is the integration of their economic units with the rest of the world. This can be measured, amongst others, by the companies’ cross-border investments, be it by domestic enterprises’ investments abroad or vice versa. This phenomenon is tightly connected with the issue of (economic) globalisation and the out-sourcing and dislocation of productive resources (offshoring).

In 2007, a European Regulation on the structure and activity of foreign affiliates was adopted (Regulation (EC) No. 716/2007 of the European Parliament and the Council of 20 June 2007 on Community statistics on the structure and activity of foreign affiliates, published in OJ 2007 L 171/17), in order to establish a harmonized data collection system on this issue. In Austria, implementation of this European act has been enforced by a national regulation, the so-called “Auslandsunternehmenseinheitenstatistik-Verordnung” (Verordnung des Bundesministers für Wirtschaft und Arbeit über die Statistik der Struktur und Tätigkeit von Auslandsunternehmenseinheiten, BGBl. II Nr. 345/2008).

In former years, parts of the FATS statistics were produced by the Austrian Central Bank (OeNB). Starting with the reporting year of 2007, the first obligatory reporting year according to the European Regulation on FATS statistics, production of Austrian FATS data were taken over by Statistics Austria, in close cooperation with the National Bank. This holds true for both, the “inward” and “outward” direction of the statistics:

  • Inward FATS: enterprises resident in Austria which are under the control of an institutional unit resident abroad;
  • Outward FATS: enterprises resident abroad which are under the control of an institutional unit resident in Austria.

Control over a corporation here is defined as the ability to determine general corporate policy by choosing appropriate directors, if necessary. A single institutional unit (another corporation, a household or a government unit) secures control over a corporation by owning more than half the voting shares or otherwise controlling more than half the shareholders’ voting power. In addition, government secures control over a corporation as a result of special legislation decree or regulation which empowers the government to determine corporate policy or to appoint the directors. 
Foreign control is given when the controlling institutional unit is located in a different country that the institutional unit controlled by it. 
Within this concept, direct as well as indirect control structures are to be recognized. FATS statistics use the concept of the 'ultimate controlling institutional unit' (UCI). The UCI is the institutional unit (or natural person), proceeding up a chain of control, which is not controlled by another institutional unit. The land of control is the country in which the UCI has its residence.

In extension to European standards (data as published by Eurostat), national data on foreign affiliates abroad also include information on affiliates of Austrian enterprises that are under foreign control themselves.

In compliance with the European Regulation, the national Regulation provides for delivery of results of the FATS statistics to Eurostat within 20 months after the end of the reference year. This period respects the fact that Austrian FATS statistics, for reasons of reducing the respondents’ burden, mainly relies on the availability of other statistics. These are the annual Structural Business Statistics (SBS), the bi-annual data collection on research and development (R&D), and the annual Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) statistics. These data are combined by using crucial information from the national statistical Business Register.

Data dissemination normally is effected by beginning of October of the second year after the end of each reference year, starting with October 2009; only a few months after availability of the national SBS (and the bi-annual R&D) data.

More information

For more detailed information on the Austrian data please consult the tables and report (under “Further information”) below or our German language website.

For more information on international data please consult the Eurostat website on statistics on foreign-controlled enterprises.

Tables, reports, press releases, etc.

Foreign Affiliates 2017: Main results by economic activities
Foreign Affiliates 2017: Main results by partner countries
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2017 by economic activities: Absolute values
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2017 by economic activities: Share of all domestic enterprises
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2017 by selected countries of residence of the global group head
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2017 by economic activities
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2017: distribution by selected countries
Foreign Affiliates 2016: Main results by economic activities
Foreign Affiliates 2016: Main results by partner countries
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2016 by economic activities: Absolute values
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2016 by economic activities: Share of all domestic enterprises
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2016 by selected countries of residence of the global group head
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2016 by economic activities
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2016: distribution by selected countries
Foreign Affiliates 2015: Main results by economic activities
Foreign Affiliates 2015: Main results by partner countries
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2015 by economic activities: Absolute values
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2015 by economic activities: Share of all domestic enterprises
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2015 by selected countries of residence of the global group head
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2015 by economic activities
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2015: distribution by selected countries
Foreign Affiliates 2014: Main results by economic activities
Foreign Affiliates 2014: Main results by partner countries
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2014 by economic activities: Absolute values
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2014 by economic activities: Share of all domestic enterprises
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2014 by selected countries of residence of the global group head
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2014 by economic activities
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2014: distribution by selected countries
Foreign Affiliates 2013: Main results by economic activities
Foreign Affiliates 2013: Main results by partner countries
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2013 by economic activities: Absolute values
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2013 by economic activities: Share of all domestic enterprises
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2013 by selected countries of residence of the global group head
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2013 by economic activities
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2013: distribution by selected countries
Foreign Affiliates 2012: Main results by economic activities
Foreign Affiliates 2012: Main results by partner countries
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2012 by economic activities: Absolute values
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2012 by economic activities: Share of all domestic enterprises
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2012 by selected countries of residence of the global group head
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2012 by economic activities: Absolute values
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2012: distribution by selected countries
Foreign Affiliates 2010: Main results by economic activities (NACE Rev.2)
Foreign Affiliates 2010: Main results by partner countries
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2010 by economic activities: Absolute values
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2010 by economic activities: Share of all domestic enterprises
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2010 by selected countries of residence of the global group head
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2010 by economic activities: Absolute values
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2010: distribution by selected countries
Foreign Affiliates 2009: Main results by economic activities (NACE Rev.2)
Foreign Affiliates 2009: Main results by partner countries
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2009 by economic activities (NACE Rev.2): Absolute values
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2009 by economic activities (NACE Rev.2): Share of all domestic enterprises
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2009 by selected countries of residence of the global group head
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2009 by economic activities (NACE Rev.2): Absolute values
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2009: distribution by selected countries
Foreign Affiliates 2008: Main results by economic activities (NACE Rev.2)
Foreign Affiliates 2008: Main results by partner countries
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2008 by economic activities (NACE Rev.2): Absolute values
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2008 by economic activities (NACE Rev.2): Share of all domestic enterprises
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2008 by selected countries of residence of the global group head
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2008 by economic activities (NACE Rev.2): Absolute values
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2008: distribution by selected countries
Foreign Affiliates 2007: Main results by economic activities (NACE Rev.1)
Foreign Affiliates 2007: Main results by partner countries
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2007 by economic activities (NACE Rev.1): Absolute values
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2007 by economic activities (NACE Rev.1): Share of all domestic enterprises
Foreign-controlled enterprises in Austria 2007 by selected countries of residence of the global group head
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2007 by economic activities (NACE Rev.1): Absolute values
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2007 by economic activities (NACE Rev.1): Percentage shares
Foreign affiliates abroad of domestic enterprises 2007: distribution by selected countries


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