The Chamber of Commerce - The Strong Voice of Lower Austria´s Economy
The Chamber of Commerce of Lower Austria (WKNÖ) was founded in 1946. It is the sole legal body representing the interests of the economy in the largest Austrian federal province. At present the WKNÖ as a statutory body includes 96.650 active members.
The Austrian Social Partners
The Chamber of Commerce is also an element of the Austrian Social Partners, cooperating with the confederations of employees and employers to solve economic and social challenges via collective dialogue. Nowadays Austria is among the richest and socially most stable countries within the EU. There is no doubt that this is mainly due to the system of economic and socio-political cooperation between the confederations of employees, employers and the government in office. The members of the Austrian Social Partners are as follows: the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Agriculture representing the employers and the Chamber of Labour and the Austrian Trade Union Confederation representing the employees.
Structure of the Chamber of Commerce of Lower Austria (WKNÖ)
It is divided between the headquarters in St. Pölten and in 21 regional offices representing the industry sectors supporting all members on the spot as their first contact point. The Chamber is divided into 7 divisions which on their turn are subdivided into 97 specialized sectors (specialized sections, trade guilds, committees and specialized representatives) being representatives and consultants in their respective specialization.
Officials elected by the companies and employees work together within the organisation. The Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of its members against third parties. The compensation of interests based on statutory regulations enables the Chamber of Commerce to make a strong public appearance.
Additionally, the Chamber of Commerce of Lower Austria and its specialized sections are a part of the social partnership during negotiation of the collective agreements. Moreover, its tasks also comprise the examination of draft laws and regulations and in some cases it is also in a so-called assigned governmental operation. Furthermore, the Chamber offers a wide range of services and advice on legal and loan issues, on technology matters and innovation, on vocational training, start-ups and business succession. Another focus is the promotion of international trade and further vocational training. With the Promotion Institute for Economy (WIFI) the Chamber of Commerce also runs the biggest vocational training institute in Lower Austria.
For further information:
Economic Chamber of Niederösterreich
3100 St. Pölten
Telefon: +43 (0)2742 851