President Urges Austria to Prioritize ODA Loan for Vietnam

President Urges Austria to Prioritize ODA Loan for Vietnam

During talks with his Austrian counterpart, President Vo Van Thuong of Vietnam proposed that Austria adopt a more favorable lending policy and prioritize Vietnam in its official development assistance (ODA) funding. The discussions took place in Vienna on Monday, following an official welcome ceremony for the Vietnamese delegation.

President Thuong suggested that Austria include Vietnam in its priority list for ODA funding and implement more favorable loan policies, particularly for projects related to healthcare, environmental protection, vocational training, firefighting, and rescue operations. The Austrian president warmly welcomed the ongoing discussions regarding preferential loans from the Austrian government and expressed hope for the prompt implementation of sustainable cooperation projects.

President Van der Bellen affirmed Austria’s appreciation for the longstanding friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam, which dates back to 1972. He emphasized that Vietnam is an important partner in Austria’s foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in trade and investment. Austria aims to further enhance bilateral relations in the fields of economy, education, and culture.

President Thuong reiterated Vietnam’s commitment to fostering friendship and comprehensive collaboration with Austria, considering it a reliable friend within the European Union. To strengthen political trust and tap into the vast cooperation potential between the two countries, the leaders agreed to facilitate the exchange of delegations at all levels and through various channels. They also committed to effectively implementing existing cooperation mechanisms and exploring the establishment of new mechanisms suitable for the current context.

President Thuong proposed that both sides work closely together and leverage the benefits of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), including facilitating market access for their respective strong export items. Austria was specifically asked to create favorable conditions for its companies to increase investments in Vietnam, particularly in industries such as automobile support, railways, medical equipment, and pharmaceuticals.

Acknowledging Vietnam as Austria’s largest partner in Southeast Asia, President Van der Bellen expressed his desire to improve the bilateral trade balance. President Thuong also suggested that Austria support the European Commission’s removal of the yellow card warning against Vietnam’s aquatic products, enabling their export to the EU.

The two leaders pledged to enhance cooperation in education, culture, arts, sports, and people-to-people exchanges. President Van der Bellen agreed to continue supporting the Vietnamese community in Austria, as they serve as a bridge for bilateral friendship.

Regarding global and regional issues of mutual concern, President Thuong commended Austria’s interest in strengthening relations with the Southeast Asian region. He proposed that Austria play a bridging role in enhancing Vietnam’s relations with the EU, while Vietnam would assist Austria in strengthening ties with ASEAN. Both leaders promised to maintain close coordination at global and regional forums, particularly within the framework of ASEAN-EU cooperation, to promote peace, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.

On the East Sea issue (South China Sea), they reaffirmed the importance of peace, stability, safety, security, and freedom of navigation in the waterway. They expressed support for international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982.

President Thuong extended an invitation to President Van der Bellen and his spouse to visit Vietnam, which was gladly accepted. Following the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Vietnamese and Austrian foreign ministries.

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