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Austrian media cover Vietnamese Foreign Minister’s visit

By VNA 09/29/2022 19:07 |

Hanoi, September 29 (VNA) – Austrian press outlets including Austria Press Agency (APA), national public broadcaster ORF and on September 28 covered the visit by Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son which they said would contribute to promoting bilateral relations.

An article published in reported on the talks held between Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Minister of Digital and Economic Affairs Martin Kocher talks with the Vietnamese Foreign Minister, who was in Austria from September 28-29, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

Following the talks with his Vietnamese counterpart, Schallenberg wrote on his personal Twitter page that he looks forward to visiting Vietnam next year and affirmed that Austria has a big interest in deepening economic relations with Vietnam.

Schallenberg highlighted close trade ties between the two countries over the past five decades. He cited statistics from the Austrian Foreign Ministry that showed about 60 Austrian firms are operating in Vietnam with total investment capital of about 150 million EUR. He stressed that Austria targets increasing exports as it is facing a trade deficit. Next month, a large Austrian business delegation will arrive in Vietnam to explore business opportunities in fields of the European nation’s strength.

According to him, smart city development, electronic mobility, renewable energy, infrastructure and a circular economy hold huge potential for investors in Southeast Asia.

On global and East Sea issues, Schallenberg affirmed that Austria supports efforts to build a code of conduct by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

During his working session with the Vietnamese Foreign Minister, Minister Kocher discussed ways to bolster bilateral partnership and stressed the importance of the Asian market for Austrian firms.

Meanwhile, the portal of the Austrian Foreign Ministry said Minister Schallenberg hosted a reception for his Vietnamese counterpart Son in Vienna on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

Austrian enterprises are interested in diverse and unexplored potential in Vietnam, it said.

The two diplomats debated the East Sea issue and maritime security in the region. The Austrian Foreign Ministry expressed support for reaching a code of conduct built by ASEAN member states. Apart from their bilateral relationship, the two ministers also talked about current conflicts, their related consequences and risks.

During the talks, Minister Schallenberg also revealed his plan to visit Vietnam next year.

Austria was one of the first western countries to set up diplomatic ties with Vietnam. Fifty years have passed since the establishment of the relationship, and the two countries have enjoyed great strides in bilateral cooperation.

According to Vietnamese Ambassador to Austria Nguyen Trung Kien, since diplomatic relations were set up on December 1, 1972, the two countries’ relations have recorded progress in all aspects, from politics to economy, trade, and investment.

Mutual visits and meetings between leaders of Vietnam and Austria have been maintained.

Most recently, Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue visited the European nation in September 2021 to attend the fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament (WCSP5) at the invitation of President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Duarte Pacheco and President of the Austrian National Council Wolfgang Sobotka. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held phone talks with his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz on September 16 last year. In October 2018, then PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc paid an official visit to Austria.

As of August 2021, Austria ranked 50th among 141 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with 37 projects worth over 147.5 million USD, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Austria is currently among the top 10 EU trading partners of Vietnam. Bilateral trade stood at around 3.6 billion USD in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Despite a slight decline due to the pandemic’s impacts, trade has bounced back considerably since August 2020, when the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect./.