Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son pays official visit to Austria hinh anh 1Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (left) meets his Austrian counterpart  Alexander Schallenberg. (Photo: VNA)

Vienna (VNA) – Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son paid an official visit to Austria on September 28 and 29, which is an important event when the two countries are marking the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties (1972 - 2022).

During the visit, Foreign Minister Son paid a courtesy call to President of the National Council of Austria Wolfgang Sobotka, held talks with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg, met with Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Martin Kocher and Minister for the EU and Constitution at the Federal Chancellery of Austria Karoline Edtstadler.

During the meetings with Austrian leaders, the Foreign Minister affirmed that Vietnam attaches importance to the traditional friendship and cooperation with Austria, saying he is impressed with the two countries’ substantial achievements during the 50 years of relations.

He took the occasion to propose that the two sides increase the exchange of delegations, especially those at high levels, and discuss measures to further expand and deepen multi-faceted collaboration.

Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg considered the Vietnamese official’s visit as important to promoting the friendship and cooperation in all aspects.

The two ministers affirmed at their talks that both sides are determined to augment partnerships in an increasingly substantive and effective manner.

Meanwhile, Austrian leaders shared their Vietnamese guest’s view and all affirmed respect for Vietnam’s role and position in the Asia-Pacific region. They expressed a hope to enhance the traditional friendship and multifaceted ties in such fields as politics - diplomacy, economy, trade, investment, renewable energy, and health care.

The two sides noted with joy that political links and regular high-level contact and visits in the recent past have helped enhance political trust between the two countries and create an impetus for cooperation.

Thanks to the positive effect of the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), bilateral trade and investment have become a bright spot in the Vietnam - Austria ties, with bilateral trade reaching 3.35 billion USD in 2021, up nearly 14% from 2020.

The two sides agreed to continue close coordination to fully tap opportunities generated by the EVFTA and facilitate Vietnamese and Austrian exports to access each other’s markets.

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son pays official visit to Austria hinh anh 2President of the Austrian National Council, Wolfgang Sobotka, introduces the Government building to Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son. (Photo: VNA) 

The Austrian side took note for consideration the Vietnamese FM’s proposal that the Austrian parliament early ratify the Vietnam - EU Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), and the Austrian Government support the early removal of the European Commission’s “yellow card” warning on Vietnam’s seafood.

Both hosts and guest also discussed the expansion of cooperation to new areas such as green finance, renewable energy and environmental protection.

Regarding international cooperation, the two sides agreed to keep coordinating with and supporting each other at multilateral organisations and forums, particularly the United Nations and the ASEAN - EU strategic partnership.

They also exchanged views on some regional and international issues of mutual concern. They shared the stance on the settlement of disputes by peaceful measures based on international law and the UN Charter, as well as respect for the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

During the visit, the Vietnamese Foreign Minister also attended the opening ceremony of a "Vietnamese Cultural Space", a business forum between the two countries, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties, and a meeting with officials and staff of the Vietnamese Embassy and representatives of the Vietnamese community in Austria.

Foreign Minister Son’s official visit to Austria was among a number of activities that are being held in both countries to celebrate 50 years since the diplomatic relations were established on December 1, 1972. Vietnam and Austria have enjoyed considerable strides in multiple areas since then./.