|Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn (L) and his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI – President Võ Văn Thưởng’s upcoming official visit to Austria will help promote bilateral cooperation and multilateral diplomacy, Vietnamese Ambassador to Austria Nguyễn Trung Kiên has said.
Talking to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)'s correspondents in Europe, Kiên said that this trip would be an opportunity for the two countries to enhance their developing relations, and also a chance for the Vietnamese State leader to work with representatives from multilateral diplomatic forums, thereby helping affirm Việt Nam’s position and role in the international arena.
Within the framework of the visit, President Thưởng would attend an official welcome ceremony and hold talks with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen, meet with President of the Federal Council Claudia Arpa, and have working sessions with the Mayors of Vienna and Burgenland states.
In addition, the Vietnamese President would have meetings and working sessions with representatives of international organisations, including the Acting Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). With these meetings, President Thưởng would affirm the Party and State’s priorities in collaboration with multilateral international organisations.
He was also scheduled to have meetings with representatives of the Vietnamese communities in Austria and several European countries.
Regarding bilateral relations, Kiên said that the relationship between Việt Nam and Austria was one of the important relations in Việt Nam's ties with Europe. In 1972, Austria was one of the first European nations to set up diplomatic relations with Việt Nam. Since then, the two countries had deepened their cooperation in all fields, from politics to economy, trade, investment, culture and education.
Austria is always among Việt Nam’s top 10 trading partners in the EU, with two-way trade reaching nearly US$4 billion before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Since the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect, the turnover has improved remarkably. However, Austria’s investment in Việt Nam remains modest. Austria currently ranks 41st out of 108 countries and territories investing in Việt Nam with 43 valid projects totalling $148.59 million.
The diplomat affirmed that there remained ample room to further boost the bilateral cooperation, particularly in economy, trade and investment.
According to the ambassador, one of the important areas in Việt Nam’s relations with Austria is cooperation in science–technology, which is the European country’s strength. Science-technology will help Việt Nam develop manufacturing industries, while Austria also sees Việt Nam as a centre for production development, in addition to being an emerging market in Asia. VNS