Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem visited Austria from June 2-4, during which he discussed measures and orientations to boost bilateral cooperation with Austrian leaders.

Khiem held talks with Austrian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger and paid a courtesy visit to Austrian National Assembly President.

The Austrian leaders spoke highly of Vietnam’s socio-economic development, especially achievements in poverty reduction, and its fulfillment of many UN Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule.

They also expressed their impression on Vietnam’s increased position in the world, especially after its performance as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2008-2009 tenure and ASEAN Chair in 2010.

At his talks with Deputy PM and FM Michael Spindelegger, Khiem highly value Austria’s preferential credits to Vietnam in poverty reduction, grassroot level healthcare, rural development and road projects which have brought in practical effectiveness, contributing to Vietnam’s socio-economic development.

The two sides were pleased that before Khiem’s visit, Vietnam’s Thua Thien-Hue province and Austria’s VAMED AG signed an agreement worth 17 million EUR sourced from Austria’s preferential loan for upgrading medical equipment for the tumor centre of Hue hospital.

They also expressed pleasure at the fast development of economic-trade cooperation between the two countries. In 2010, bilateral trade reached 267 million USD, recording an average increase of 20 percent a year.

Austria affirmed continued cooperation with Vietnam in education-training, culture, music, sports, health care, environment and clean energy.

The European country will continue to support Vietnam in developing ties with the EU and hopes Vietnam will help it expand relations with ASEAN and the Southeast Asian region.

The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation at international forums, especially at the UN, ASEM and international organisations based in Vienna.

They agreed to cooperate closely in making plans and organising successfully activities to mark the 40 th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2012, contributing to enhancing friendship, multifaceted cooperation and mutual understanding between the two people.

During the visit, Deputy PM and FM Khiem also met with General Director of the International Energy Atomic Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano.

The two sides stressed the special importance of international cooperation in maintaining and ensuring nuclear security.

Vietnam affirmed its active participation in the upcoming nuclear security meeting to draw lessons in using nuclear energy safely for peaceful purposes in the future.

The IAEA head said the agency will continue to help Vietnam implement technical assistance projects relating to nuclear energy./.