Austria requested to soon ratify EVIPA, help remove IUU yellow card

Vietnam expects Austria to soon ratify the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and help remove a yellow card under the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing regulations of the European Commission against Vietnamese seafood exports to the European Union.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam Bui Thanh Son raised the expectation during talks in Hanoi on April 17 with Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria Alexander Schallenberg.

Son affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to and wishes to strengthen its friendship and cooperation with Austria.

In reply, Schallenberg said Austria wishes to strengthen ties with Vietnam, a leading and important partner for Austria in Southeast Asia.

Both host and guest shared the view that the Vietnam-Austria cooperative relations have over the past five decades developed positively in various fields, especially in politics - diplomacy, economy - trade, development cooperation, and culture.

There is much room to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, and to this end both sides should increase visit exchanges and coordinate closely at multilateral forums and international organisations, they agreed.

Son pointed out that Austria has been one of the top 10 trade partners for Vietnam in Europe for many years, noting despite the COVID-19 impact, two-way trade turnover last year hit US$2.79 billion.

He suggested that the two sides make full and effective use of the EU – Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA), and encourage Austrian businesses to increase investment in Vietnam, especially in areas of Austrian strengths such as infrastructure, renewable energy, new technology, and semiconductor chip production.

Schallenberg for his part viewed Vietnam as a dynamic developing economy in Southeast Asia, and expressed hope that the two sides would promote cooperation in the fields of green technology, transportation, health, and infrastructure, among others.

He also acknowledged Son’s proposals regarding the Austrian ratification of the EVIPA and Austrian assistance in EC removal of the IUU yellow card for Vietnamese seafood exported to the EU.

The two sides examined the possibility of expanding bilateral cooperation into new fields such as defense-security, labour and vocational training.

Exchanging views on a number of regional and international issues of common concern, they stressed the importance of ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea as well as settling disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria Alexander Schallenberg is paying an official visit to Vietnam from April 16-18 at the invitation of Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.

Besides talks with Minister Son, Schallenberg is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, attend a Vietnam – Austria business forum, and visit a number of economic establishments in Hanoi.

Austria is one of Vietnam’s export markets in Europe, with their two-way trade last year hitting US$2.79 billion. Currently, Austria ranks 44 out of 141 foreign investors in Vietnam, with 41 valid projects valued at US$148 million.

Vietnam and Austria signed a finance cooperation agreement in 2015 under which the Austrian government pledged US$100 million in preferential capital for Vietnam from August 2019 to August 2023, and financed ODA projects in the fields of health care, firefighting, education-training, environment, among others.