Established in 1947, as an NGO and business platform to promote peace and international cooperation through economic development, the Organization for International Economic Relations has grown to become a global multi-stakeholder platform. With its wide variety of members - corporate entities, business associations, international organizations and NGOs - from more than 80 countries, OiER acts as an social advisory and intermediary service organization that supports information exchange and analyses, identifying opportunities, matchmaking, development of sustainable activities and investment facilitation.
The Danube European Institute was established to support the economic development of the Danube Region. In 1947 the foundation for successful development work was created. The Danube European Institute comprised high-ranking members from politics, business and science. In addition to a lively lecture activity, intensive efforts to improve economic relations within Central Europe, the focus was already on Eastern and Southeastern Europe and Asia.
In 1970 Dr. Günther A. Granser took over the Danube European Institute and transformed it into today's Organization for International Economic Relations (OiER). Dr. Granser became the first Secretary General of the OIER and still holds the office of President of the International Council.
1972 OiER has been awarded consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and further in 1973 with the European Council. OiER was the first organization in Austria receiving this high-level status.
The 30 years gathering highlighted the tremendous activities of OiER in the Danube Region as well as on the international stage. Apart from hundreds of partners and stakeholders the Austrian National TV "ORF" recorded the whole ceremony in the Vienna HOFBURG.
At the invitation of the Korea Trade Corporation (KOTRA), the President of the OIER, Dr Günther Granser, traveled to Korea to discuss economic and social relations. During the course of the stay, it was decided to set up a representative office for the Organization for International Economic Relations in Seoul.
Meeting and collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Mr. Klaus Schwab. In the late 90ies the WEF with focus on Central and Eastern Europe, happened in Salzburg (Austria). OiER's current Chairman of the Board, Dr. Ullrich Granser, was leading a breakout session on how to support these countries and align mutual interests in a comprehensive European model.
United Nations Day 2000 was all about Austria: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had received ambassadors and prominent figures from politics, business and the media. From the Austrian side were i.a. Foreign minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Vienna's city councilor Brigitte Ederer, WKÖ President Christoph Leitl and Walter Nettig, President of the Vienna Chamber, were there. President Leitl gave the UN chief the furnishings for a Viennese café in the lobby of the UN General Assembly. Prof. Günther Granser, Chairman of the OIER Board of Trustees, presented Annan with the “Europe 2000” brochure. The organization, founded in Vienna in 1947, was able to celebrate 25 years of consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Annan thanked OiER for everything, especially for the musical highlight: The Vienna Symphony Orchestra played Mozart and Shostakovich in the plenary hall of the General Assembly.
In 2001 OiER was organizing a delegation trip to china to strengthen the economic relations of Austrian enterprises (e.g. AVL List, Raiffeisen Bank Internetional, AT&S). The delegation trip could be regarded as very successful: during the Federal President's working visit, company representatives concluded business contracts worth 370 Million euros.
Furthermore, OiER signed a Memorandum of Understanding iwith the CEC - China Enterprise Confederation wishing to establish closer cooperation with the aim of contributing to strengthening commercial, industrial and economic relations within the framework of the respective legislations.
The United Global Academy (UGA) is a world-wide network of universities, academic management institutions, companies and international organizations. UGA was co-founded in 2005 by the OIER - Organization for International Economic Relations (established in 1947), Daimler AG and universities in Europe and Overseas, to unite innovation and creativity in favour of an international, future-oriented dialogue. The UGA deals with topics such as sustainability, intercultural exchange, mobility, innovation, international management and global social responsibility.
UGA is a powerful platform of competent partners in politics, economy science, finance and international organizations and is based on the fundamental idea of a partnership with the spirit of innovation, to create possibilities for the education of a world elite of inventors and the implementation of successful international Think Tank projects.
2007 OiER could look back at a bright history achieving important goals in the field of economic and social development.
As part of the high-level Russian-Austrian economic forum, OiER President Dr. Christoph Leitl met with the Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the presence of Austria's Federal Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, contracts and memoranda for investments and collaborations worth around 3 billion euros were signed.
2011 the OiER and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) signed an extensive Memorandum of Understanding to support urban development activities in Asia and Africa. Especially, OiER is providing private sector know-how and access to technology leader in various fields.
Starting in 2010 OiER shifted its focus on urban areas and jointly initiated the United Smart Cities program with the UNECE and other industrial partners in 2014. The key areas were urban mobility, sustainable housing, clean energy, waste management and ICT. Its objectives were as follows: a) Decrease vulnerability of cities to urban migration, demographic changes, environmental degradation and climate change b) Reduce carbon footprint of cities c) Enhance the quality of life for inhabitants d) Improve the environmental quality of the cities e) Establish public-private partnerships (PPPs).
Solar Light for All is a multi-stakeholder project initiated in 2015 by OiER in cooperation with UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) and the Energy Globe Foundation with co-funding by OFID (OPEC Fund for International Development). Through this project 5.000 solar systems are installed in West Africa, Ghana and Cote d´Ivoire. An estimated 30.000 people including women and children benefit from this programme, allowing children to study in the evening, increase safety and health for women and children, cut household spending, trigger economic development and increase local employment.
OiER Building Bridges for 70 Years - The OiER is building bridges and has brought people closer to each other during the last 70 years of international activity. The OiER has also made important contributions to European integration and played a substantial role in the historical process of political and economic transformation in Europe.
Over the years, the OiER has been recognized and honored on frequent occasions for its achievements in the field of international cooperation. Always prepared to take up new challenges, the OiER will continue to play an innovative and constructive role in the dynamic process of global economic, technological and social change of our time.
Together with the industry partners, OiER established the first state of the art smart city LAB in the center of Vienna early 2018. The LAB is an open workspace for companies and startups to be in touch with city representatives, technology providers, and international experts. Furthermore, OiER is organizing high-level events and workshops thoughout the years.
The Secretary General of the Organization for International Economic Relations (OiER), Ms. Kari Aina Eik, and the Executive Secretary of the UNECE, Ms. Olga Algayerova, signed a Memorandum of Understating (MoU) in 2018 to establish a Geneva UN Charter Centre of Excellence on Smart Sustainable Cities at the OiER (from 2018 to 2020).
Due to the long-standing partnership, which started with the launch, in 2014, of the programme “United Smart Cities” (USC), UNECE and OiER have decided to strengthen their collaboration on the topic of smart sustainable cities and establish the related Geneva UN Charter Center of Excellence in Vienna.
2019 the United Smart Cities (USC) initiative was integrated into the United for Smart Sustainable Cities Implementation Programme (IP) to approach cities and the private sector on a global level – supported by 17 UN agencies. OiER's Secretary General Ms. Kari Eik is leading the programme.
During the last decade, private corporations around the world have increasingly started to get involved in local and global causes. In today's world, there is an increasing pressure on private sector institutions to implement or support initiatives that improve the environment and community well-being. OiER provides a trusted track record and range of best practice collaboration to support in the best way and enable new collaborations as well as business opportunities.