State President’s visit to Austria to boost ties
Hanoi (VNA) – State President Nguyen Minh Triet will visit Austria from June 2-4 to develop multi-faceted cooperation with the European country, which established diplomatic ties with Vietnam in 1972.
In the first ever State-level visit, the Vietnamese president will ask the Austrian government to provide favourable conditions for the 4,000 Vietnamese people living in the European country.
President Triet is scheduled to held talks with President Heinz Fisher, as well as meet with Parliament Speaker Barbara Prammer, Prime Minister Alfred Gusenbauer, local scholars and overseas Vietnamese.
The President is expected to witness the signing of bilateral accords on double taxation avoidance, diploma mutual recognition and health technology cooperation.
Some 60 Vietnamese businesspeople will accompany the President on the visit to explore opportunities for investment and partnership. They will take part in a business forum slated for Vienna on June 3.
Austria was first visited by Prime Minister Phan Van Khai in April 1998, then by Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Mai Thuc Lan in May 2002 and later by Vice State President Truong My Hoa in September 2005.
In March 1995, President Thomas Klestil became the first Austrian leader to visit Vietnam , followed by Parliament Speaker Heinz Fisher who came in April 1997.
Economic ties between the two countries remain modest, with two-way trade value standing at just 140 million USD in 2006 and crawling to about 175 million USD in 2007.
Vietnam ’s favoured imports from Austria include wooden furniture, plastic materials, machinery and medicines. Vietnam exports mainly footwear, garment and apparels, electronics components and bags to the European country.
By March this year, Austria had invested in 10 projects, worth a total of 12.4 million USD in Vietnam , earning it the rank of the 10 th largest foreign investor among European countries.
So far, Austria has provided financial assistance for Vietnam in the fields of railways, health care and education and training.
At present, it supplies a total of 1.635 million USD non-refundable aid into restoring 1,500 tractors that Vietnam imported from Austria in 1980 and developing post-harvest technologies in the Mekong delta.
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