„With AREA SOUTH our country’s second largest economic region is emerging in the south of Austria. Where boundaries are overcome and connecting elements come to the foreground, new things emerge.

The good accessibility and the greater catchment area provide a substantial boost for the future. Our task now is to seize this once-in-a-century opportunity for Styria and Carinthia and the entire Alps-Adriatic region.

AREA SOUTH is a fresh lifeline that brings us closer together
– our economy, the people and especially the youth. A region with great potential, where people are happy to work, study, invest and most of all live.“

Josef Herk,
President of the Styrian Economic Chamber

Präsident Jürgen Mandl, © WKK/alexanderzagorz

“From Klagenfurt to Graz in three quarters of an hour – as of 2025, the Koralm Railway will bring together the two central provincial capital regions and create a new Southern Austria Economic Area: a European metropolitan region with more than one million people, hundreds of thousands of businesses and endless opportunities for further economic growth, a higher quality of life and less out-migration.

Heightened visibility as a business location and key logistics hub, closer links between education institutions, convenient mobility between urban and rural areas – all of this makes Carinthia and Styria a new centre of vital interest for people in the Alps-Adriatic region.”

Jürgen Mandl,
President of the Carinthian  Economic



Creating connections is our innermost desire. The exchange of ideas and goods has shaped our history and destiny. It has been proven over generations: Where borders are overcome, new things are created; where the focus is on what connects, the economy and prosperity grow.

The new railroad axis, which overcomes two geographical borders through the Koralm and Semmering, is far more than just a railway line. It is a time and space machine that shrinks distances and travel times. It creates a fascinating economic area of 1.8 million people and almost 120,000 companies with 620,000 employees.

We have given this opportunity of the century for Styria, Carinthia and the entire Alps-Adriatic region a name:


More People. More Markets. More Togetherness.



Our working world faces one of the biggest changes in the past centuries. In just a few years it has become evident that our old work principles and models no longer apply. The way we work has changed. Shorter hours. Far too long. Often from home, then again from everywhere.

We align our work with our environment – not the other way around. The new AREA SOUTH signals a spirit of optimism. Attractive working conditions meet a unique, liveable environment located in the heart of Europe.

AREA SOUTH. More People.



One of the big advantages of economic regions is that they offer businesses access to larger and more diversified markets. New markets open up new opportunities through new customer segments and new sales areas that drive innovation and enable further growth.

With AREA SOUTH our country’s second largest economic region is emerging in the south of Austria. It is rightly considered as a one-in-a-century opportunity, because it gives businesses in Styria and Carinthia a powerful boost for the decades to come.

AREA SOUTH. More Markets.



What belongs together grows together. From Vienna to Graz or Klagenfurt in a fraction of the time it took previously – this connects us in a totally new way. Cities, business centres and enterprises move closer together, routes become shorter, more practical and more economical.

The new axis in the southeast of Austria paves the way for more contacts, more exchange and more business. It is a fresh lifeline that makes AREA SOUTH a “super region” in the heart of Europe.

AREA SOUTH. More Togetherness.

AREA SOUTH, Economic Region Southern Austria

Economy needs change – and investments. The future AREA SOUTH is distinguished by a large number of technology and industry sites which, as a whole, are unique in Central Europe.

Linking them together opens up an attractive environment for the  location of further companies, bringing additional investments to the region. The combined  strengths of several sub-regions  thus lead to a diverse offering with new opportunities, locations and possibilities.

If the past few years have shown one thing, it‘s this: In the long term, the positive economic development is determined not only by courageous entrepreneurs but also, and above all, by the availability of a qualified  workforce.

This is where AREA SOUTH can score points: the region is home to a large number of education and research  institutions, among them 13 universities and universities of applied sciences. And what’s more: once students have got to know the region, they want to stay here too.

Hard facts are of course important for people and the economy. What
matters even more though, are factors that are not always easily put in words: security, wellbeing, peace and quiet – everything we perceive as high quality of life. In terms of its countryside, AREA SOUTH belongs to the most attractive living environments in Europe, nestled between the
Adriatic Sea and the Alps – with the major cities Vienna, Munich and Milan within easy reach.

AREA SOUTH is a region you not only like working in, more importantly it is a place where you also like living.

The emerging economic region AREA SOUTH is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that Carinthia and Styria must seize. For two economically strong federal provinces, whose enterprises are already  outstandingly successful, also globally, to grow closer together it takes courage to make the necessary infrastructure investment decisions – on both sides of the Kor Alps.

As Economic Chamber we provide the strong voice for an active regional economic policy, because we want to make more of it.


Mehr Verbindungen. Mehr Chancen. Mehr Leben.

Wirtschaft braucht Wandel – und Investitionen. Die zukünftige AREA SUED zeichnet sich dort eine Vielzahl von Technologie- und Industriestandorten aus, die in ihrer Gesamtheit einzigartig in Mitteleuropa sind. Sie zusammenzuführen, eröffnet ein attraktives Umfeld für die Ansiedelung weiterer Unternehmen und bringt zusätzliche Investitionen in die Region. Aus den Stärken mehrerer Teilregionen entsteht so ein vielfältiges Angebot, mit neuen Chancen, Standorten und Möglichkeiten.

AREA SUED. Mehr Investitionen.

Wenn die vergangenen Jahre eines gezeigt haben, dann dies: Über die positive Entwicklung der Wirtschaft entscheidet, neben mutigen Unternehmerinnen und Unternehmern, langfristig vor allem die Verfügbarkeit qualifizierter Arbeitskräfte.

Hier kann die AREA SUED punkten, denn zahlreiche Bildungs- und Forschungseinrichtungen, darunter mehrere Universitäten und Fachhochschulen, sind hier zu Hause. Und: Wer als Studierende oder Studierender diese Region einmal kennengelernt hat, der will auch hierbleiben.

AREA SUED. Mehr Wissen.

Natürlich sind die harten Fakten für die Menschen in der Wirtschaft wichtig. Was aber noch mehr zählt, sind Faktoren, die sich oft schwer in Worte fassen lassen: Sicherheit, Wohlbefinden, Ruhe – all das, was man als Lebensqualität erfährt. Die AREA SUED zählt zu den landschaftlich attraktivsten Lebensräumen Europas, eingebettet zwischen Adria und Alpen – mit den Großstädten Wien, München und Mailand in Griffweite.

Die AREA SUED ist eine Region, in der man gerne arbeitet, vor allem aber auch lebt.

AREA SUED. Mehr Leben.

Die neu entstehende Wirtschaftsregion AREA SUED ist eine Jahrhundertchance, die Kärnten und die Steiermark nützen müssen. Das Zusammenwachsen von zwei wirtschaftlich starken Bundesländern, deren Unternehmen sich schon heute äußerst erfolgreich und global beweisen, braucht Mut für notwendige Investitionsentscheidungen in die Infrastruktur dies- und jenseits der Koralm.

Als Wirtschaftskammer sind wir die starke Stimme für eine aktive regionale Wirtschaftspolitik, denn wir wollen das noch mehr daraus wird.

AREA SUED. Mehr daraus machen.

Bottom line – AREA SUED

  • The new urban agglomeration Graz – Klagenfurt is emerging.
  • With the industry and trade districts Deutschlandberg and Wolfsberg, the peripheries move closer to the centre.
  • The differences between urban centres and peripheries diminish.
  • The labour market becomes more dynamic.
  • The demographic trend of population decline is broken: infrastructure against out-migration

  • An internationally visible region: the second-largest agglomeration in Austria

  • However: infrastructure measures mean a lot of hard work – if the course is not properly set in regional policy, the positive economic and demographic effect will weaken successively.

Action agenda – AREA SUED

In addition to the construction of the Koralm Railway, it is necessary to take accompanying infrastructure measures, which firstly ensure that the railway is used optimally, both where goods and passengers are concerned, and secondly make regions beyond the core area of the Koralm Railway more attractive, so that all regions in Southern Austria can benefit equally from the newly emerging AREA SOUTH economic area.

The task now is to extend this infrastructure package by adding a more detailed regional and local policy agenda that covers Southern Austria not only as a business and living location but also as an education and innovation hub.

  • Upper Styria – Central Carinthia / Area St. Veit /Friesach – Murtal valley
  • Completing the B317 – S37
  • Expanding Interregio link
    Klagenfurt – Graz (IR Koralm)

    • with stops at Lake Klopeinersee and
      Airport Graz (via Southern Line)
  • Interregio link between Klagenfurt – Judenburg/ Knittelfeld (IR Aichfeld)
  • Upper Carinthia:

    • upgrading PT – bus and rapid transit system
  • electrifying the Gail Valley Railway, upgrading for freight transport
  • Southern and Eastern Styria:

    • Radkersburg Railway: modernising, increasing frequency and gap closure
      to Slovenia
    • “Spa Railway”: new line Gleisdorf – Fürstenfeld and modernisation of the
      Hartberg – Fürstenfeld – Fehring link
  • Maintaining and expandingregional
    loop lines for passenger and goods transport:

    • modernising the Zeltweg – Dravograd line (Lavant Valley Railway)
    • reconstructing the Mur Valley Railway incl. electrification
    • upgrading the Görtschitz Valley Railway for goods transport
  • Rail infrastructure:
    • expanding the Phyrn-Schober link: Reconstructing the Bosruck tunnel and widening the Graz-Bruck/Mur link to four tracks (overlaps Baltic-Adriatic corridor)
    • widening the Southern Line Werndorf – Spielberg to continuously two tracks (Baltic-Adriatic corridor)
    • electrifying Styrian part of the Eastern Line and integrating Styrian Eastern Line with the Koralm Railway
    • Klagenfurt-Villach: constructing a goods line
    • Tauern line: modernising and improving existing lines (for example, around Salzburg- Bischofshofen or Gasteinertal valley)
    • Kühnsdorf station: maintaining and modernising the freight loading station
    • concepts to integrate the airports Graz and Klagenfurt with public transport and/or Koralm Railway
  • Public transport services:
    optimising the feeder infrastructure in both federal provinces and ensuring regional bus lines and rapid transit railway lines by 2025
  • Expanding broadband infrastructure in AREA SOUTH: focus on central towns and business locations in the region
  • Keeping energy prices and energy infrastructure up to date:

    • ensuring fast expansion of energy grids with focus on energy transition
    • adjusting electricity grid tariffs in Southern Austria to Austrian average
  • Specific strengthening of central towns based on regional planning in Styria and Carinthia
  • Strengthening town and village centres: regional planning and financial incentives for repair and overhaul
    • reating write-off modalities for repair and overhaul
    • alternative approaches: investment/repair and overhaul bonus
  • Strengthening municipal financing:

    • restructuring fiscal equalisation
    • financial funds for childcare and school locations
    • public transport in the regions (micro and general PT)
    • establishing intermodal infrastructure nodes (park & ride areas, etc.)
  • Tourism:

    • coordinating with tourist attractions and joint marketing
    • joint Süd-Card and “KlimaTicket” (Climate Ticket) for tourists
  • Education location Southern Austria:

    • ensuring vocational school locations and expansion of the higher technical school (HTL) sector in Southern Austria
    • implementing area-wide childcare services
    • promoting language-specific early-childhood education for children with migration background
    • promoting digitalisation in education
    • serving internationality of the business location by providing English-speaking education facilities
    • creating modern and need-based education options
  • Innovation and R&D location Southern Austria:
    • supra-regional clusters
    • securing R&D funds in the K and Kplus centres
    • supra-regional, cooperative R&D calls for tenders
    • use of Just Transition Fund: common education programme for green jobs

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and find out everything about the new economic area of southern Austria.