Thang Long - Hanoi

Austrian President’s visit boosts bilateral ties
28/05/2012 | 16:56:14
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Austrian President Heinz Fischer will pay an official visit to Vietnam from May 29-31 to further promote the friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries.

As one of the key events to mark the 40 th anniversary of Vietnam-Austria diplomatic ties, the visit aims to strengthen understanding and trust in politics and deepen cooperation in areas of priority such as education and training, science and technology, and trade and investment.

During the visit, several trade agreements are expected to be signed between the two countries.

In 1972, Austria was one of the first Western countries that set up diplomatic ties with Vietnam .

Since then, the cooperation between the two countries has developed continuously through the regular exchange of high-ranking visits, including Austria visits by Prime Minister Phan Van Khai in April 1998, Vice President Truong My Hoa in September 2005 and President Nguyen Minh Triet in June 2008 as well as Vietnam visits by President Thomas Klestil in March 1995, Prime Minister Wolfgang Schuessel in October 2004 and President of the Austrian Federal Council Sissy Roth-Halvax in May 2006.

In 2009, when Vietnam and Austria were non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, the two countries coordinated and supported each other in some issues of common concern, especially in organising open discussions on “children in armed conflicts” and “women, peace and security”.

In recent years, two-way trade between Vietnam and Austria has seen positive developments, reaching 107.9 million USD by February 2012, up 160 percent year on year.

Vietnam mainly exports footwear, wooden products, garments, machinery and equipment to Austria while importing pharmaceuticals, steel, paper, animal feed and raw materials from the European country.

Austria now has 19 projects in Vietnam with a total investment of 50.8 million USD, ranking 51 st among 94 countries and territories investing in Vietnam .

Austria ’s official development assistance (ODA) and preferential credits for Vietnam have been used to implement projects in the fields of railway transport, medical equipment, firefighting and vocational training.

Regarding educational cooperation, Austria annually provides about 20 post-graduate scholarships for Vietnam .

In addition, the Austrian Embassy in Hanoi provides German language support with teaching and studying documents and equipment for Hanoi-based universities.

Seven Vietnamese universities have signed cooperative agreements with their Austrian counterparts.

In 2008, Austria decided to provide scholarships worth 600,000 EUR for nearly 100 Vietnamese students to study in the country.

The two sides are also speeding up the signing of a bilateral cooperative agreement on science and technology.

Tourism cooperation between Vietnam and Austria has seen strong developments. The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) and the Austrian Embassy are coordinating with the Vietnamese side to organise seminars and fairs to promote Vietnamese tourism in 2012.

Austria is currently home to more than 5,000 Vietnamese people.-VNA
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