VIENNA — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc called on Austrian businesses to invest in a wide range of areas in Việt Nam while addressing the Việt Nam-Austria Business Forum in Vienna on Monday.
Phúc, who is paying an official visit to Austria, suggested Austrian enterprises invest in high-tech agriculture, processing and manufacturing industry, especially agricultural product processing, high-tech zones, infrastructure development and tourism.
Việt Nam would also create optimal conditions for Austrian investors to buy stakes of State-owned enterprises, he promised.
Phúc briefed participants, including representatives from 60 Vietnamese businesses and over 100 Austrian companies, on Việt Nam’s economy which has grown continuously and is expected to expand by about 7 per cent this year.
“Việt Nam will strive to maintain the growth pace to create favourable conditions for investors in the country,” he said.
"Việt Nam is a large market with a population of almost 100 million, and 65 per cent of the country’s workforce is young and the middle class is on the rise, the leader said, adding that the increasing number of internet and smart phone users in Việt Nam has also opened up great opportunities for e-commerce development."
The PM stressed that Việt Nam had signed and planned to ink 16 new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs), including the future FTA with the EU in the time ahead.
“Việt Nam is committed to making continuous reforms and facilitating foreign investment in the country,” he pledged.
He pointed out that although trade turnover between Việt Nam and Austria was projected to hit about US$4.5 billion this year, the flows of investment capital in each other’s market remained modest, standing at only around $200 million.
Given this, Phúc urged Vietnamese and Austrian enterprises to step up investment and cooperation, for mutual benefits, economic development in each country and stronger bilateral relationship.
Addressing the forum, Harald Mahrer, president of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, said Austrian firms had clearly recognised Việt Nam’s development over the past years, which, he said, would open up great opportunities for investors.
"Việt Nam is one of the countries enjoying the fastest development in Asia and the world with a trained young workforce and an increasing number of newly-established enterprises and startups, especially in IT and digital technology," he said.
Mahrer affirmed that Austrian businesses were interested in the Vietnamese market which would have a population of nearly 100 million and its gross domestic product (GDP) growth was forecast to double in the years to come.
Highlighting Việt Nam as a big market for Austrian exports, the official said that the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber had decided to open its representative office in the country.
At the forum, Phúc and representatives of agencies and businesses of the two countries witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements in such areas as energy, credit, manufacturing industry and health equipment.
A cooperation agreement between the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber was also signed on this occasion, under which the two sides will cooperate in supporting businesses of Việt Nam and Austria as well as the implementation of the EU-Việt Nam FTA.
On the same day, Phúc met with Ernst Wastler, chairman of the Board of Vamed Group and Tào Ngọc Tú, chairman of Tân Việt Group, and held a talk with representatives of leading Austrian businesses.
Austria is the first stop of the PM’s trip to Europe, during which he will also pay official visits to Belgium and Denmark, make a working visit to the European Union and attend the 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM 12) and the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 Summit (P4G). — VNS