Who does the Austrian Chamber of Commerce represent in the TTIP debate?
13 of the 17 companies presented in the brochure “Österreichische Firmen melden sich zu Wort” (Engl. „Austrian companies raise their voices”), are part of international corporate structures or large corporations!
In summer 2015, the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKÖ) published a brochure in which Austrian companies positioned themselves in favor of TTIP. The companies emphasized the expected profits of TTIP. An analysis of the working group “SMEs against TTIP” Austria shows that 13 of 17 of these companies – 76 percent – are large corporations or part of international corporate structures, such as BMW Austria AG or the Schaeffler Group. Expected to largely benefit from TTIP, they have declared to be in favor of the planned free trade agreement.
Only 2 of the 17 represented companies are SMEs
However, independent SMEs (small and medium sized-enterprises) are not represented in the brochure. Only two of the 17 featured companies are SMEs, and they are already exporting to the United States. The analysis of the working group “SMEs against TTIP” Austria shows, that their own representatives (WKÖ) do not represent the interest of all business entities: “The WKÖ brochure clearly shows that our representatives primarily work for large companies and corporations and still do not focus on the engine of the local economy, namely SMEs. However, it’s us the SMEs, which employ the most people and despite the difficult conditions, do not threaten to leave Austria.”
The full analysis and graphics of the working group “SMEs against TTIP” can be found here (only in German):