Vietnam hopes to cultivate ties with Austria: Foreign Minister

Vietnam values and looks to strengthen friendship and cooperation with Austria, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son told his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg during their talks in Hanoi on April 17.

Schallenberg, who is on Vietnam visit from April 16-18 at the invitation of Son, hailed Vietnam’s increasingly important role and position in the region and the world. He affirmed that Austria expects to reinforce ties with Vietnam, its top partner in Southeast Asia.

The two ministers expressed their delight at the development of bilateral ties over the past five decades, especially in politics-diplomacy, economy-trade, development cooperation and culture.

Agreeing that there remains room to beef up bilateral ties, they agreed to facilitate all-level visits, especially those at high level via the Party, State and people-to-people exchange channels.

They vowed to step up cooperation between the two foreign ministries and mutual support between the two countries at multilateral forums and international organisations such as the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting and the ASEAN-EU cooperation framework.

Minister Son lauded Austria for always being one of the top 10 trade partners of Vietnam in Europe over the past years. Despite COVID-19, two-way trade still hit 2.79 billion USD last year.

He suggested that both sides should work closely together, fully and effectively tap the benefits of the Europe-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). He also encouraged Austrian businesses to increase investments in Vietnam, particularly in areas of their strength such as infrastructure, renewable energy, new technology and semiconductor production.

The host proposed Austria soon complete the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and push forward the European Commission (EC)’s early removal of yellow card warning on Vietnam’s aquatic products.

Hailing Vietnam as a vibrant economy in Southeast Asia, Schallenberg wished for enhanced bilateral collaboration in green technology, transportation, health care and infrastructure.

He also took note of Son’s proposal regarding the early approval of the EVIPA by the Austrian Parliament and support for EC’s early lifting of the yellow card warning on seafood exports from Vietnam.

Host and guest discussed expanding joint cooperation in new areas like national defence-security, labour, and vocational training.

On the occasion, Son thanked the Austrian Government for creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to settle down in the European country.

The Austrian minister promised to continue assisting the Vietnamese community in upholding their role as a bridge for developing the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Austria in the most effective manner.

On regional and global issues of shared concern, they underlined the importance of ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, as well as settling disputes through peaceful means in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency