An official partnership was signed by officials of both capitals back in May 1993, which was reaffirmed also ten years later. Bratislava’s co-operation with Vienna is carried out via various cross-border co-operation projects, as well as on a bilateral and multilateral level. Both cities are partners in implementing the Euroregion project CENTROPE, as part of which they exchange information about tourism, the natural environment or transport infrastructure.
Yet, the co-operation between Bratislava and Vienna has much greater potential than has been utilised to date. Both cities are central points in the so-called Golden Triangle, made up of the Euroregion Bratislava–Vienna–Györ. This region was appraised by a study from the institute Empirica Delasasse from Cologne as the most prospective region of 461 evaluated regions in Europe. The study took into consideration factors like qualification of the workforce, costliness, density of production, environmental quality, transport potential, or the density of services. The Twin City model empowered by the close proximity of Bratislava and Vienna holds unbelievable hidden potential.
To combine forces in the shared economic area of Vienna-Bratislava is the principal idea of the chambers of commerce on both sides of the border. This concept has, fortunately, been welcomed also by the city halls of both cities. The platform was assigned the name of Twin City, a brand which should be the distinctive calling card not only of the two cities themselves, but of the whole Central European region around the Danube. With the extension of the Schengen line, the border will vanish even more. The Twin City area of Vienna–Bratislava will enjoy great success in terms of competition as a production locality with other European agglomerations, if it strengthens further its economic integration and the forces of both cities are united.
It is businesses above all that must breathe life into this platform. Austria and Slovakia are natural economic partners. Austria is the third biggest foreign investor in Slovakia, the fifth biggest importer and the fourth most important export destination for Slovak products. A large part of mutual trade between the two countries, as much as half according to OECD estimates, occurs in the region around Twin City. The spirit of Twin City is enhanced also by smaller investments, coming more at present from Austrian businesses in Bratislava than vice versa. The brand of Twin City is being promoted also by the Twin City Liner, which shuttles regularly between the two cities along the Danube, and by the magazine Twin City Journal, which the local governments of both cities co-operate on.
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