Sino-Austrian cooperation set for positive future: Austrian official
VIENNA, April 27 (Xinhua) -- A recent upswing in mutual cooperation between Austria and China bodes well for future relations between the two nations, an Austrian official has said.
Austrian top leaders' visit to China in early April appeared to hit the right notes for both sides, Vice President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber Christoph Matznetter told a Sino-Austrian seminar in Vienna on Thursday.
It was marked by a pleasant atmosphere based on mutual cooperation, that sought friendship and harmony over a more confrontational approach as is presently seen elsewhere in the world, he said.
China has also made its core values clear, including putting free trade over protectionism, recognizing a need for environmental protection rather than engaging in climate change denial, and putting possibilities for global cooperation first, Matznetter said.
The Belt and Road initiative is a major means of boosting such cooperation, with its first direct goods train from Chengdu to Vienna to be expected on Friday.
Matznetter said at present only about 2.5 percent of all Austrian exports go to China, leaving "much room for improvement."
It is positive however that being presently situated at one end of the Belt and Road's rail network between Europe and China, huge opportunities exist for both sides, he said. In addition it is encouraging that a small country like Austria is being cooperated with "at eye level" by such a large country.
Both nations are also advanced in the research, technology, and environmental sectors, providing further capacity for cooperation, and a chance for Austrian companies to both export goods, and share related know-how in these areas, he said.
Many developing countries along the Belt and Road routes such as Central Asia, and also in the Balkans, can benefit from the infrastructure and expertise both sides can provide. China is however not a competitor, he noted, but a partner.