|Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (left) and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz during a press conference in Vienna, Austria on October 15 as the former is on an official visit to the European country. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất|
VIENNA — Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc had talks with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna, Austria, yesterday as part of his official visit to the European country.
Both leaders expressed delight at the development of bilateral relations since the two countries established diplomatic ties on December 1, 1972.
Chancellor Kurz stressed the Vietnamese leader’s visit marks an important milestone in relations, while appreciating Việt Nam’s development and integration achievements, as well as its increasing role in the region and the world. He hoped for stronger development in the bilateral relationship in the future.
The leaders exchanged views on measures to boost bilateral collaboration in all fields, ranging from politics, diplomacy, defence and security to economy, trade, investment, culture and tourism.
They agreed to increase the exchange of delegations and effectively carry out bilateral co-operative mechanisms, especially the inter-governmental committee.
The leaders noted with pleasure that Việt Nam has remained Austria’s largest trader in Southeast Asia while Austria maintained its position as one of the top 10 export markets of Việt Nam’s in the European Union (EU). They agreed to exert greater efforts to make Austria one of Việt Nam’s leading economic partners in Europe.
Chancellor Kurz affirmed that with its role as the EU Chair in the second half of 2018 and as a close partner of Việt Nam, Austria will push for the early signing and ratification of the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
He said the agreement will open up major opportunities for economic, trade and investment co-operation between Việt Nam and the EU, including Austria.
The Chancellor also recognised the Vietnamese community in Austria for their contributions to the host country’s development and bilateral relations.
PM Phúc, in turn, thanked the Austrian government for its support and preferential loans for projects in the fields of railways, healthcare and vocational training.
He commended the effective operations of 30 Austrian businesses in Việt Nam in health, high technology, environment and agriculture.
The two leaders agreed to work closely in implementing projects using Austria’s preferential loans, while also encouraging the two countries’ enterprises to enhance investment and business connectivity and co-operation in fields necessary for Việt Nam’s development such as transport infrastructure, clean energy development, vocational training, science-technology, tourism, healthcare and smart city building.
PM Phúc took this occasion to propose the Austrian side continue creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Austria to integrate into the local society.
The two leaders also discussed international and regional issues of shared concern. They committed to promoting bilateral co-operation at international forums and organisations, such as the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the ASEAN-EU and the United Nations.
They also exchanged affirmed the importance of maintaining peace, security, and stability for co-operation and development as well as settling differences and disputes in the East Sea by peaceful measures in line with international law, the UN Charter and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Following the talks, PM Phúc and Chancellor Kurz witnessed the signing of some co-operation documents.
They included a funding agreement on a project on improving medical equipment for Chợ Rẫy Hospital’s tumour centre, worth 25 million EUR between the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance and Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank; a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on scientific-technological co-operation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology and the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science, and Research; and another MoU on e-commerce co-operation and Industry 4.0 between Việt Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Austrian Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs.
Chancellor Kurz then hosted a banquet in honour of Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
Afterwards, the two leaders held a joint press conference, announcing the outcomes of their talks. The two sides issued a joint statement affirming the importance of boosting bilateral economic, trade and investment co-operation.
The Austrian Chancellor highlighted sound bilateral relations over the past five decades, saying there remains potential for both sides to boost co-operative ties.
During the talks, they discussed issues in culture, politics and, economy, he said, adding that there are 30 Austrian businesses currently operating in Việt Nam who are satisfied with doing business in the Southeast Asian nation. The Austrian Chancellor expressed his hope for more Austrian firms to invest in Việt Nam in the time to come.
PM Phúc said the two leaders agreed to help enterprises of both nations to continue co-operation and investment.
The two sides agreed on a range of measures to deepen bilateral ties, he said, adding that Việt Nam thanked the Austrian government for its provision of soft loans in railway, healthcare and vocational training.
The Vietnamese PM opined that with the positive outcomes of the talks and the long-lasting friendship and co-operation between the two countries, the Việt Nam-Austria relationship will continue to thrive. — VNS