Austria and Vietnam Deepen Partnership in Economy and Politics

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: July 26, 2023; 21:45 ♦ (Vindobona)

A significant step towards strengthening bilateral relations between Austria and Vietnam was achieved with the visit of Vietnam's President Võ Văn Thưởng and Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn to Vienna.

Vietnamese President, Vo Van Thuong (l.) with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen (r.). / Picture: © / Carina Karlovits/ HBF

Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg received their Vietnamese counterparts and signed a political Memorandum of Understanding for regular political consultations between the two countries. Foreign Minister Schallenberg had already visited Vietnam in April 2023 to lay the foundation for a more intensive partnership.

Foreign Minister Schallenberg stressed the importance of the visit from Vietnam and expressed his pleasure at the signing of the cooperation document, which will enable structured and regular dialogue. He stressed that Vietnam is also an important partner in political issues and that both countries share common positions on strong multilateralism and respect for international law.

At a time of global challenges, such as Russia's blockade of the Black Sea Grains Initiative, Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, tensions between the US and China, the situation in the South China Sea, the fight against climate change, and the handling of new technologies, the two sides see the need for a reliable partnership.

The Indo-Pacific region also plays an important economic role for Austria. Given supply chain problems and geopolitical tensions, Vietnam is of great importance as Austria's largest trading partner within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), he said. The two sides agreed to promote delegation exchanges and strengthen cooperation in vocational training, culture, arts, and green and digital transformation.

The visit of Vietnam's President, Vo Van Thuong, to Austria marks a milestone in bilateral relations, which have been successfully developed for 50 years. In addition to economic cooperation, the countries have also been engaged in climate and environmental issues. President Thuong described Austria as an important trading partner and stressed the potential for closer cooperation in the political, economic, cultural, and sports fields.

Both heads of state stressed the need for more intensive exchange and dialogue in international and regional affairs. They are committed to peaceful conflict resolution based on the UN Charter and the development of a rules-based international order with a strengthened multilateral system.

President Thuong's visit to Austria is his first to an EU country since taking office in March 2023. The political memorandum of understanding between Austria and Vietnam marks a significant step towards a stronger partnership in politics and business.

Presidential Chancellery of Austria

MFA Austria

MFA Vietnam