State President appreciates Austrian ODA for Vietnam

State President Truong Tan Sang thanked Austria for providing Vietnam with official development assistance (ODA).

During talks with Austrian President Heinz Fischer in Hanoi on May 29, Mr Sang welcomed Mr Fischer’s visit, which marks the 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, saying it is a milestone in their traditional relationship.

He expressed his appreciation for Austria’s sentiments and assistance to Vietnam during its past struggles and throughout the current national construction and development, as well as its cooperation in poverty reduction, environment protection, and health care.

The State leader briefed his guest on Vietnam’s achievements during its Renewal ( Doi Moi) process, as well as its current economic situation and foreign policies.

President Sang said he hopes the Austrian government will create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in the country to integrate into their new society and contribute to boosting bilateral friendship and cooperation.

For his part, President Fischer expressed his admiration for Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements and said he believes that under the current leadership of the Party and Government, Vietnam will be able to overcome its difficulties to attract more foreign investors, including those from Austria.

Both sides said they are pleased with the significant development of bilateral economic, trade, and investment cooperation, with two-way trade reaching US$630 million in 2011, doubling the figure recorded in 2010.

They emphasized the need to boost the modest investment ties by encouraging their businesses to invest in each other’s market and organizing the Vietnam-Austria Business Forum in HCM City.

Host and guest also agreed to strengthen cooperation in infrastructure, transportation, renewable energy, health care, the environment, and especially education and training.

They held that the two countries should promote the exchange of high-ranking delegations and work closely together to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2012.

Both presidents agreed to enhance cooperation in multilateral forums and international organizations. President Sang asked the Austrian government to continue helping Vietnam strengthen comprehensive cooperation with the EU, saying that Vietnam is willing to be a gateway for the European nation to foster ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

After the talks, the two presidents witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in industry, trade, and energy between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Austrian Ministry for Economics, Family and Youth (MEFY), as well as one on tourism cooperation between the MEFY and Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and an agreement between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

Other documents related to Austrian-funded ODA projects in health care, fire prevention, and occupational training were also signed after the meeting.

The same day, President Fischer was received by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.