Austrian President visits Vietnam


VNA - President Truong Tan Sang held talks with his Austrian counterpart, Heinz Fischer, immediately after an official welcome ceremony for the guest in Hanoi on May 29. 
At the talks, President Sang said the visit, which takes place at a time when the two countries are preparing for the 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties, marks a new development in the traditional friendship and fine cooperation between Vietnam and Austria . 
President Heinz Fischer said that he is pleased to return to Vietnam after his 1997 visit as the Chairman of the Austrian Parliament, and expressed his admiration for Vietnam ’s impressive socio-economic development achievements. 
He said he believed that with the sound guidelines and measures of the current leaders, Vietnam will overcome temporary economic difficulties and continue to be an attractive destination for foreign investors, including those from Austria . 
The two sides agreed to increase the exchange of high-ranking visits and strengthen coordination in organising activities marking the 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties in Vietnam and Austria during 2012. 
The two leaders agreed that bilateral economic, trade and investment relations continue to see positive developments, with two-way trade exceeding 630 million USD in 2011, doubling the 2010 figure. 
They emphasised the need to create more favourable conditions for the two countries’ businesses to invest in each other’s markets. 
The two sides applauded the organising of the Vietnam-Austria Business Forum in Ho Chi Minh City on this occasion and agreed to strengthen cooperation in such areas as infrastructure, transport, new energy, health and environment. 
They also agreed to increase cooperation on education and training, as well as links between the two countries’ universities and training establishments. 
President Sang spoke highly of Austria ’s continued ODA provision for Vietnam , expressing his wish that the Austrian President and government will continue to create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Austria . 
The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation at multilateral forums and international organisations, especially the United Nations. 
President Sang suggested Austria continue support for Vietnam to enhance comprehensive cooperation with the European Union (EU). He affirmed that Vietnam is willing to act as a bridge for Austria to boost relations with ASEAN.
On the occasion, the two sides signed a number of cooperative documents, including memoranda of understanding on cooperation in industry, trade, energy and tourism, and a cooperative agreement between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.-VNA