Ambassador Le Dung speaking at the event (Photo: baoquocte.vn)

Speaking at the ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador to Austria Le Dung reviewed the process of fighting for national independence and building the country since 1945; highlighting the achievements in economic development and Vietnam’s increasingly enhanced diplomatic position in recent years.

The Ambassador emphasized that from early 2020 up to now, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to the international community, affecting the cooperation process among countries.

However, the Ambassador was also pleased to report that after Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's visit to Austria and some European countries in 2018 and bilateral diplomatic activities in 2019, the cooperation between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) and Austria continues to make important steps, especially in the fields of economics and trade.

In August 2020, Vietnam and the EU completed procedures for the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to take effect. In the January – August period of 2020, two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and Austria reached 2.2 billion USD; Austria has become the 5th largest trading partner of Vietnam among European countries.

On this occasion, the Ambassador also thanked the Austrian government for always creating favorable conditions for the Vietnamese community to live, work and study in Austria. This is the factor that helps people to easily integrate and contribute to the development of Austria.

In terms of multilateral diplomacy, the Ambassador said that in addition to the negative effects, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to help the international community to become more engaged in dealing with global problems. In that context, Vietnam has performed well as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council right from the first days of its term, with many notable activities such as chairing the ministerial-level open discussion session of the United National Security Council on marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations: complying with the Charter to maintain international peace and security; and chairing a discussion session on cooperation between the United Nations and ASEAN in maintaining international peace and security in January 2020.

Vietnam also well performed the role of ASEAN Chair 2020, being highly appreciated by member countries and partner countries. In Vienna, Vietnam is taking the position of President of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) and the ASEAN Vienna Committee (AVC), coordinating activities of member countries at multilateral forums.

In this role, Vietnam represented APG to participate in discussions at the Executive Boards of forums such as the United Nations Committees on drug prevention and fighting against transnational crimes.

Vietnam hosted the meeting between AVC and the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding the possibility of ASEAN - IAEA cooperation on combating plastic waste at sea. Besides, the cooperation between Vietnam and international organizations in Vienna is increasingly tightening.

In the process of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam has actively coordinated, exchanged information, shared experiences and received support in technology, equipment, and human resource training from the IAEA to apply nuclear technology in developing vaccines to treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

This is one of the factors that helps Vietnam effectively control the pandemic with just over 1,000 infections since the outbreak began and a minimal infection rate in the community.

Offering congratulations on Vietnam's National Day, Mr. Johannes Brunner, Director of Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in Asia-Pacific region, expressed his impression on Vietnam's development, especially the positive economic growth maintained in the January – August period of 2020.

Mr. Brunner said that although the economic cooperation between the two countries has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 epidemic since early 2020, the trade turnover is still relatively stable.

In the coming time, when the pandemic is curbed, EVFTA takes effect and WKO's office in Ho Chi Minh City is in operation, that will be a favorable conditions for businesses of the two countries to explore the markets and seek business opportunities, contributing to promoting economic cooperation between the two countries.

Before the ceremony, all Vietnamese Embassy staff in Austria and representatives of the Vietnamese community in Austria offered flowers to the statue of President Ho Chi Minh in the campus of the embassy./.

BTA