Austrian federal business chamber to open office in Vietnam

By Dat Nguyen   October 15, 2018 | 11:33 pm PT
Austrian federal business chamber to open office in Vietnam
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with Ernst Wastler, CEO of Austria's VAMED. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Government Portal
Austria’s main business group will open an office in Vietnam and invite a Vietnamese delegation to visit the European country next year.

This was revealed at the Vietnam-Austria Business Forum attended by visiting Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in the Austrian capital, Vienna, Monday.

The forum was organized by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO), the federal parent organization for the state chambers of commerce and trade associations.

WKO president Harald Mahrer said Austrian businesses are attracted by the potential of the Vietnamese market. He pointed to Vietnam’s status as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, its increasing number of new businesses and a large population set to reach 100 million soon.

Vietnam also has a young and well-trained labor force with good entrepreneurship, especially in information technology, which interests many Austrian companies, Mahrer said.

VCCI chairman Vu Tien Loc noted the forum is the most significant event ever between Vietnam and Austria and organized before the E.U.-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) comes into effect next year.

PM Phuc said the Vietnamese economy has been achieving high growth for the last 30 years and is set to grow by 7 percent this year.

With young people accounting for 65 percent of the population, a growing middle class and a large ratio of people using the internet and smartphones, the country has great potential in e-commerce, he added.

Vietnam climbed from 77th in 2006 to 55th last year in the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index, and from 104th to 68th in the ease of doing business index, according to the World Bank.

Pointing to these, the PM encouraged Austrian businesses to invest in high-tech agriculture, agricultural processing, manufacturing, high-tech zones, infrastructure, and tourism in Vietnam.

He said the country is willing to sell stakes in state-owned enterprises in telecoms, banking and securities to capable Austrian investors.

Austria, one of the first western countries to establish diplomatic ties with Vietnam in 1972, was the sixth largest importer of Vietnamese goods in Europe last year.

Bilateral trade was worth over $4 billion last year, up 42 percent from 2016.

In the first seven months of this year Vietnam’s exports to the country reached $2.58 billion, up 47 percent year-on-year, while imports fell 16 percent to $167 million.

As of last August Austrian companies had 31 projects in Vietnam with registered investment capital of  $143.9 million.

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