HA NOI — Viet Nam and Austria had room to accelerate their bilateral relations, especially in trade and investment, said Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice chairman Doan Duy Khuong yesterday.
During a business conference in Ha Noi, Khuong emphasised the great role of businesses in enhancing and speeding up co-operation between the two countries.
Viet Nam was making efforts to step up economic reforms, with a focus on facilitating the development of the private sector and perfecting the legal system and market economy mechanism to attract more foreign investment, Khuong said.
"During this process, we welcome and are ready to create the most favourable conditions for foreign investors, including those from Austria," he said.
Austrian Federal Economic Chamber general director Walter Koren said Austrian companies had paid increasing attention to investing in Viet Nam,
Fifty Austrian companies at the conference expected not only a better insight into Viet Nam's market potential but specifically to learn the advantages of maintaining a presence in the country, he said.
He also encouraged Vietnamese companies to co-operate more actively with Austrian counterparts to unleash untapped potential.
Vietnamese Trade Counsellor in Austria Nguyen Thi Thu Huong called on domestic companies to increase their exports to Austria and then utilise its ideal location as a hub for their expansion into other markets in Europe.
However, Huong advised firms to work closely with her office in order to find reliable Austrian trade partners and to avoid possible business risks.
Besides trade, she also outlined industry and energy, infrastructure, tourism and healthcare as promising sectors for businesses.
Bilateral trade between Viet Nam and Austria has experienced significant growth over recent years. It reached US$630 million in 2011, a year on year increase of 240 per cent, and $171 million in the first quarter of this year.
Viet Nam mainly exports mobile phones and components, footwear and garments to Austria, while importing mainly machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals and steel.
Last year, Austria pumped $51 million into 19 projects in Viet Nam, ranking 51st among 94 countries and territories investing in the country. Austrian investment was mostly in manufacturing and processing, accommodation and food services, as well as entertainment. — VNS