Sino-Austrian bilateral trade to double

Updated: 2011-05-06 07:53

By Cheng Guangjin (China Daily)

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BEIJING - Austria and China - the country's biggest trading partner outside the European Union - are expected to double bilateral trade volume within five years and strengthen cooperation in the new resources and high-tech sectors.

Sino-Austrian bilateral trade to double
Premier Wen Jiabao welcomes Austrian Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann for an official visit to China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday. [Photo/China Daily] 

China welcomes Austria to increase investment in the country, especially in the central and western areas, Premier Wen Jiabao told visiting Austrian Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann.

Wen said bilateral trade is expected to double within five years through concerted efforts, which will also lead to the balanced, diversified and sustainable development of trade.

Both sides vowed to strengthen cooperation in energy conservation and environmental protection, renewable resources and high-tech.

Faymann is on an official visit to China that ends on Saturday.

During his three-day visit, Faymann will also meet President Hu Jintao and attend activities celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of China-Austria diplomatic ties.

Faymann said he hoped the two nations keep the momentum of high-level exchanges and increase visits at ministerial level.

China established diplomatic ties with Austria on May 28, 1971. Now China is Austria's top export destination outside the EU.

Statistics show that bilateral trade in 2010 reached $6.08 billion, a year-on-year increase of 26 percent.

In his welcoming remarks, Wen said Feymann's visit shortly before the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationships "will push the celebration to a climax".

A series of concerts, which are free to the public, are being staged in Beijing and Shanghai from May 4 to 10. Renowned Vienna-born pianist Matthias Fletzberger, among others, will perform.

Faymann said that during the last 40 years, bilateral cooperation has been continuously deepened, and it is vital for Austria to have closer ties with China.

By 2010 China had approved 985 investment projects from Austria, and Austria plans to double its exports to China within two years.

In 2010, about 200,000 Chinese traveled to Austria, and 80,000 Austrians traveled to China. In the "music city" Vienna, capital of Austria, 20 Chinese concerts were held in 2010.