FIW Studien | 2008-06
Österreichs Multinatione Unternehmen (MNUs) und deren konzernexterner und -interner Handel
The study analyses the development of foreign trade of Austrian Multinational Enterprises (MNE) for the period 1992-2005. During this period MNE account for about 54% of total exports and 46% of total imports. Both shares are roughly constant over the full period. Whilst the trading sector shows huge trade deficits (10.8 bn EUR or 4.0% of total GDP in 2005) the manufacturing sector performs rather very well. However, foreign (inward) and domestic owned (outward) MNE show quite different patterns. Whilst both groups of MNE realized increasingly higher trade surpluses over the full period (finally, in 2005 the surplus was 7.6 bn EUR and 8.4 bn EUR for outward and inward MNE respectively) intra-firm trade was far more intensive for inward compared to outward MNE. Generally, it seems to be the case that foreign MNE streamline their production chain much more intensively than outward MNE do. In particular, bilateral intra-firm trade is more intensive in this group of MNE. Hence it can also be expected that such kind of intensive specialisation provides these enterprises also with a competitive edge. Finally, the concentration of overall trade is enormous. The Top-10% of all MNE account for 61% of total MNE exports and 73% of total MNE imports. The concentration of intra-firm trade is even stronger. In particular this fact raises the question if policy measures and subsidies should focus that much on these already well-performing MNE. An alternative strategy would be to focus economic policies on measures which "nurture the superstars of the future".