Vietnam and Austria are looking to consolidate what has become a considerably fruitful partnership.
On April 8, the Commercial Office of the Vietnamese Embassy in Austria, the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKO) and the Association of Austrian Electrical and Electronics Industries co-organized a workshop on attracting investment for Vietnam's supporting industries.
A business delegation from Vietnam has been flown to Austria to participate in an exchange of knowledge and ideas in order to help enterprises from both countries further their understanding about each other's strengths and seek partnerships.
Vietnam has become Austria's second largest export and import market, following Thailand, since last year. “Vietnam and Austria's cooperation potential is large,” said Mr. Hans-Jorg Hortnagl, WKO Regional Director for South and Southeast Asia, “Over the past few years, Vietnam has become one of the most important partners for Austria in the ASEAN region.”
In 2014, Austrian import turnover of Vietnamese commodities was €550.3 million ($586 million), which mainly consisted of garments, textiles, footwear and smart phones. Austria exported mechanics, electronics and health devices to Vietnam, making a turnover of €159.3 million ($170 million).
Mr. Hans-Jorg attributed the growth in bilateral trade to three causes, the first being the large number of Austrian companies in China. Now that the Chinese market is becoming more expensive, many Austrian companies might move to Vietnam in the future. Secondly, Vietnam is an important partner in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which will be established at the end of this year. Vietnam's market will be even more attractive as it becomes a manufacturing centre for ASEAN countries as well as other Asian and European countries. Thirdly, the free trade agreement between the European Union and Vietnam will be a foundation for the further cooperation between Vietnam and Austria.
Mr. Vu Viet Anh, Vietnamese Ambassador to Austria, has expressed his faith that the workshop will provide Vietnamese enterprises the necessary opportunities to find appropriate business partners in Europe.
Ms. Truong Thi Chi Binh, Director at Supporting Industry Enterprise Development Center (SIDEC) and Director of the “Vietnam’s supporting industries towards European markets” project, also expressed her expectation that within the next three years, the project would help Vietnamese enterprises approach the European market better and consequently improve export turnover.
In this business trip to Europe, the Vietnamese delegation will also participate in the Hannover Exhibition in Germany from April 10-17 with two stalls introducing mechanic and electronic components.