Hans Peter Stihl, President of the Association of German Industry and Commerce, is a powerful man, but is also capable of questioning the status quo. His analyses of Germany as a business location carry a lot of weight because they are as honest as they are precise.

This makes it all the more pleasing that he recently described Austria as a "model for Germany." The president was particularly taken with Austria's system of business taxation - not surprisingly, given the debate raging on the subject in Germany. Austria has long offered business a flat corporate tax rate of 34 percent - which German business leaders have repeatedly called for - along with a moderate tax on capital gains.

Of course, there is another reason not to be surprised when President Stihl hails Austria as a "great success:" he knows what he is talking about. After all, in his guise as an industrialist Hans Peter Stihl has long operated two facilities in Austria.

By Rene Siegl at the Austrian Business Agency

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