Vietnam, with a young population and increasingly wealthy and growing middle class, was a potential market of 90-million customers, said Thomas Loidl, Austrian Ambassador to Vietnam during a Austria-Vietnam business meeting in Hanoi on September 29.

Thirteen Austrian energy and environmental companies attended the meeting to learn more about the market and seek potential partners.

Economic and trade cooperation between the two countries have grown considerably in recent years. Two-way trade rose from 175 million USD in 2007 to 1.3 billion USD in 2012 - and 2.1 billion USD in 2013.

However, the results were considered low compared with the potential, said Doan Duy Khuong, Vice-Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

He said Vietnam would be a gateway for Austrian companies to access the wider ASEAN market, particularly when the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) comes into being next year.

Therefore, the market could grow from Vietnam's 90 million to a total of about 600 million in ASEAN, Khuong added.

He said the Vietnamese Government was trying to complete the country's legal regulatory framework and develop better market mechanisms to create favorable condition for companies to come to Vietnam, including Austria.

The business meeting is held by the VCCI, the Austrian Embassy and Advantage Austria in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city every year to create good conditions for Vietnamese and Austrian companies to develop trade.

Khuong said that the VCCI was willing to cooperate with trade promotion agencies in other countries to organise similar events.-VNA