Vietnam and Austria have enjoyed a traditional and friendly relations, with their bilateral trade turnovers ranking first in ASEAN and being among top 10 in the EU blocs. The Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen invited the President Vo Van Thuong and the high-ranking delegation of Vietnam to visit Austria from July 23rd to July 25th, 2023 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations.
Vietnam – a potential partner in Asia
A recent report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts the Vietnamese economy will grow by 6.5% in 2023 and by 6.8% in 2024 respectively despite the impacts by the global economic recession, tight monetary policies in major markets like the US and EU and influence from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In 2022 alone, Vietnam’s GDP reached 409 billion USD.
Vietnam is one of the most competitive manufacturing centers in the region, benefiting from a shift in the supply chain of global production thanks to flexible policies in management of production and export. Vietnam’s investment environment has been strongly improved, becoming more and more attractive thanks to its focus on streamlining administrative procedures, continuing to give tax and fee incentives to manufacturing businesses, as well as promoting public investment. The Vietnamese government is speeding up national infrastructure investment (accounting for about 5.7% of the GDP) with the goal of connecting seaports, airports, warehouses and yards into a unified logistics network, generating driving force to make the country one of the fastest growing emerging markets in Asia. In the energy sector, Vietnam is implementing dual-horse strategy to soon successfully implement the “Green transformation” commitments introduced at the COP26; on the one hand, maintaining hydro-electricity and thermal power to ensure production capacity and national energy security, on the other hand, accelerating the investment of 133 billion USD for new electrical infrastructure by 2030.
Vietnam’s labor market – with a relatively larger size and better-trained forces compared with many other regional competitors – has become increasingly attractive to FDI enterprises. In the context of US-China trade tensions, Vietnam emerges as one of the safe destinations for global manufacturers thanks to open trade policies with 15 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) already in effect, connecting almost all the major economies of the world (US, China, EU, ASEAN, Japan, Korea, UK, India…); thereby diversifying the production supply chain, limiting vulnerability to supply disruptions and other impacts by geo-political events.
In addition, in the context of conflicts and riots occurring in many parts of the world, Vietnam has always been evaluated as a country with stable politics under the consistent leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam. This is one of the indispensable factors that contribute to making Vietnam able to persist in its economic development policy, creating an environment of peace and prosperity, as well as securing the peace of mind for foreign partners when investing in Vietnam.
Vietnam – Austria relations is well developing into reality
Vietnam and Austria have enjoyed a traditional and friendly relations, with their bilateral trade turnovers ranking first in ASEAN and being among top 10 in the EU blocs. For more than 50 years of establishment of diplomatic relations, the ties between Vietnam and Austria have been continuously consolidated and developed in many areas. The two sides have regularly maintained contacts and exchanged high-level delegations, working closely and supporting each other in multilateral forums on the common goals of peace, cooperation and mutual development.
In October 2018, the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc paid a high-level visit to Austria. In September 2021, the National Assembly Chairman of Vietnam Vuong Dinh Hue paid a working visit to Austria on the occasion of attending the 5th World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments (WCSP5) held in Vienna, Austria. In April 2023, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg also made a high-level visit to Vietnam.
Austria is presently in the group of 10 largest trading partners of Vietnam in the EU while Vietnam is Austria’s largest partner in ASEAN. Two-way trade turnover has grown rapidly, reaching 2.8 billion USD in 2022. Austria currently has more than 40 projects in force in Vietnam, focusing on the fields of railways, healthcare, vocational training, wastewater treatment… Austrian entrepreneurs have gradually made their imprints on Vietnam such as Doppelmayr, Gleisbauer of Austria participating in the construction of the cable car lines in the natural wonder Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh province of Vietnam which scored 02 Guinness records. However, economic cooperation is still not commensurate with the potential and expectations of the country leaders of the two countries.
Lately, the Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen invited the President Vo Van Thuong and the high-ranking delegation of Vietnam to visit Austria from July 23rd to July 25th, 2023 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations. This is a significant landmark for leaders of the two countries to discuss ways to deepen their political, economic and trade cooperation at bilateral and multilateral levels. It’s also an opportunity for Austrian businesses to promote trade, to lead the investment flow in Vietnam, bringing the Vietnam – Austria strategic partnership into depth and substance.
Vo Van Thuong, born in 1970, was elected by the 15th National Assembly of Vietnam on March 2nd, 2023 to become the State President of the country. He was the youngest man to hold this position in Vietnam. President Vo Van Thuong has a lot of experience in many fields from politics to economics. He was the initiator of the development of special mechanisms and policies to early turn Ho Chi Minh city into an economic, financial and cultural center, as well as a hub of service and innovation in Southeast Asia in particular and in Asia in general./.