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Austria is a federal republic consisting of nine states (Bundesländer). The states have some legislative authority distinct from the federal government, e.g. in matters of culture, social welfare, youth and nature protection, hunting, building, and zoning ordinances.

Austria is a highly developed country. In 2019 it was the fifth richest country within the European Union, having a GDP (PPP) per capita of approximately 44,920 euros, with Luxembourg, Ireland, Netherlanads and Sweden leading the list. The manufacturing sector is relatively large, accounting for almost 20% of value added. The most important industries are machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, chemicals, iron and steel, foodstuffs. In addition, tourism is an essential pillar of the Austrian economy. In 2018, it contributed more than 15% to GDP.

Germany has historically been the main trading partner of Austria, accounting for about 30% of the country’s exports in 2016 and even about 40% of its imports. The central and eastern European countries are playing an increasingly important role, accounting for 16% of Austrian’s exports. Almost 70% of Austria's imports come from other European Union member states.