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Apr 18, 2023 / 11:58

Vietnam eyes US$4 billion trade with Austria

Austria is now one of Vietnam's top 10 European trading partners.

Vietnam and Austria aim to increase bilateral trade to US$4 billion in the near future, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said at a meeting on April 17.

Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) meets Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Schallenberg on April 17. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Austria now ranks among Vietnam's top 10 European trading partners. In 2022, bilateral trade was worth US$2.8 billion, with Vietnam exporting nearly US$2.5 billion worth of products to the European nation.

Welcoming the first Austrian Foreign Minister to arrive in Vietnam, Prime Minister Chinh said Austria is an important member state of the European Union (EU) and Vietnam hopes to strengthen its ties with the European nation.

To achieve the projected trade target, PM Chinh expected Vietnamese and Austrian businesses to consolidate their operations and seize the opportunities brought by the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

The Vietnamese leader also urged Austria to ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and help the European Commission (EC) remove the "yellow card" on Vietnamese fishery exports.

"Drastic measures are needed to boost bilateral cooperation in certain fields such as science and technology, infrastructure development, vocational training, digital transformation, and green transition," PM Chinh added.

He called on the Austrian government to facilitate market access for Vietnamese exports such as electronics, footwear, and agricultural and aquatic products.

"With a long history and rich culture, there is great potential for Vietnam and Austria to develop partnerships in culture, art, music, and tourism," he said.

He also expected local authorities in Austria to create favorable conditions for overseas Vietnamese and encourage them to contribute to the prosperity of both nations.

At the meeting, Prime Minister Chinh appreciated the support of the Austrian people and government for Vietnam's socio-economic development and the fight against Covid-19.

He wished the two nations to strengthen political ties and organize more high-level official talks to boost cooperation in various fields.

For his part, Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Schallenberg said Austrian enterprises are keen to set up their local businesses in Vietnam to take advantage of the country's advantages in market development, human resources, and business environment.

The Austrian official agreed to strengthen bilateral ties in human resources development through agreements signed between the two governments, universities, and enterprises.

Austria regards Vietnam as a priority partner in the region and looks forward to expanding bilateral relations in all potential areas on the basis of long-term friendly relations, he said.

The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in multilateral talks, sharing the same view of a peaceful and secure environment in the East Sea (South China Sea), and giving priority to peaceful measures to settle disputes in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOSE) adopted in 1982.

Diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Austria were established on December 1, 1972, two months before the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973.