Vietnamese Foreign Minister’s official visit to Austria: Strong political dynamics promotes bilateral relations
|Austrian Ambassador to Vietnam Hans-Peter Glanzer. (Photo: CT)|
Could you please share your expectations on Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son’s official visit to Austria? What do you think the visit will contribute to the relations between the two nations?
It is very important that visits at a high political level are being resumed something which was not possible during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic with its travel restrictions. I see the visit of Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son as an excellent opportunity to take stock of and to give a strong political impetus for the further strengthening of our bilateral relations in the various fields, in particular in the economic one.
Besides the bilateral consultations with his Austrian counterpart, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, Foreign Minister Son will also meet the Minister for Labour and Economy, Martin Kocher, as well as the Minister for the European Union, Karoline Edtstadler.
The visit of Foreign Minister Son will also highlight the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries which we are celebrating this year. To this end the Vietnamese Embassy is organizing an event with a music program performed by musicians from the Viet Nam National Academy of Music.
This visit will also serve as a starting point for further visits at the high political level. We are expecting such a visit from Austria to Vietnam in the first half of 2023.
In your opinion, how could the two nations support each other in the context of post-pandemic recovery, especially in the economic field?
Bilateral trade and investments are key for the sustainable recovery of our economies. We have seen a very dynamic development of the bilateral trade volume which reached a new record last year with an overall volume of 1,4 billion Euro and a high surplus for Vietnam. Around 50 Austrian companies have branches in Vietnam; but there is definitely potential for more investment from Austria in Vietnam. Thus, I welcome the events which aim at promoting the economic relations during the visit of Foreign Minister Son: a business forum in the Austrian Chamber of Commerce and a presentation of agricultural products from Vietnam.
In this context I would also like to mention that the Commercial Section of the Austrian Embassy bringing trade missions with Austrian companies to Vietnam – one on green technology and another one on railways infrastructure took already place; another one with a broad spectrum of companies will come to Vietnam mid of October.
|Austrian Ambassador to Vietnam Hans-Peter Glanzer and Austrian business delegation visited Ho Chi Minh City last May. (Photo: Linh Chi)|
In recent months, the Embassy regularly organizes concerts, what are the messages through these cultural events?
Indeed, we are organizing cultural events, like the exhibition accompanied by concerts on Austrian composers of modern classical music in the National Library of Vietnam or these days concerts by a Saxophon Quartett from Austria in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Culture is a very effective way in presenting the richness and the diversity of our countries. It helps to create a better understanding of each other which is crucial for good relations between peoples and countries. Our cultural activities aim also to create new opportunities, in particular for young artists to connect with the world and to facilitate the way for international encounters.
Cultural events are also an excellent way to mark anniversary years. Like the Vietnamese Embassy we also will celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with a concert of the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra together with the concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra as well as two singers, one from the Vienna State Opera, with classical music from Austria in the Opera House in Hanoi on 26 November 2022.
How do you feel about the life in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi?
I am enjoying my stay in Vietnam. From my first trips I got already an impression of the beauty of country, its diversity and its rich cultural heritage. I find the people of Vietnam very friendly and forthcoming. Hanoi has preserved its traditional charm and its architectural heritage. I like the many parks and lakes – it gives the city a special flavor. And not to forget the excellent Vietnamese cuisine.