“The economic consequences of Brexit are strongly negative in the UK, while for the other member countries of the European Union they are manageable,” Dr. Christoph Leitl, President of the Economic Chamber quoted from a first short analysis created by Professor Christian Keuschnigg of the University of St. Gallen, for the Economic Chamber.
Given this difficult situation, it was the task of the industry to “think in alternative ways”. Such alternatives could be form of a large European free trade zone with the countries that are interested in close economic cooperation. This could also be open to countries such as Turkey or Ukraine, Christoph Leitl said.
For the logistics company UnitCargo, the UK is represents the eight most important customer market, points out Davor Sertic, Managing Director of the specialist company for truck full loads also operating in the UK. In the worst case, Brexit would mean a sales drop of 30 percent for the company.
Davor Sertic added: “Given the fear of migration and human smuggling, logistics creates a climate of uncertainty. Also the customer relationships built on trust, performance and constant willingness that are important for the UK market, mean a challenge for us. But the logistics specialists see themselves as the ‘ants of the industry’ – we must and will find solutions.”
For some companies in the industry, the current situation could even turn out as an opportunity, as “fear leads to market adjustment” Davor Sertic pointed out. However, from the perspective of a company: “The UK needs Europe and Europe needs the UK.”
Christian Kesberg, Austrian economic delegate in London, emphasised on the very good and profitable economic relations between Austria and the UK: “The trade surplus of nearly 2 billion euros for Austria is only surpassed by that of France or the United States.” Last year Austria exported goods worth around EUR 4 billion and services worth almost EUR 2 billion to Britain.
The about 1,000 affected Austrian companies offer mainly niche products and are difficult to replace with new suppliers. In addition, some companies will probably even benefit when their exports become cheaper due to the favorable exchange rate of the British pound.