Vietnamese and Austrian businesses gathered at a forum in Ho Chi Minh City on March 14 to seek ways to strengthen links.

The event was jointly held by the city’s chapter of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI-HCM), and Austria’s Carinthia Economic Chamber (CEC).

The Austrian businesses at the forum chiefly operate in sound device manufacturing, consultancy services, timber production, delivery service, and mechanical engineering.

Addressing the event, VCCI-HCM Chairman Vo Tam Thanh said although trade between Vietnam and Austria has been increasing, there is room for the two sides to further boost cooperation.

Vietnam can supply Austria with numerous products that it has high demand for, such as wooden products, transportation, foodstuff, spices and electrical parts, he said.

Thanh added that Vietnam also hopes to learn from Austria’s experience in energy, manufacturing, consultancy services in construction, railway links and waste water treatment.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Austria increases by an average of 15-20 percent per year. Last year, the figure hit 1.222 billion USD, up 195 percent from 2011.

Austrian businesses have 21 projects (primarily in manufacturing, processing, services and entertainment) in Vietnam with a total investment of 27 million USD.-VNA