Austria visit historic, productive, added vigour to ties, says PM Modi after packed Vienna schedule


Vienna, July 11 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday termed his Austria visit "historic" and "immensely productive" and said it has added "vigour" to the two countries' friendship.

Vienna, July 11 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday termed his Austria visit "historic" and "immensely productive" and said it has added "vigour" to the two countries' friendship.

Wrapping up his visit to Austria - the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 41 years, PM Modi, in a post on X, said he was happy to have attended diverse programmes in Vienna and thanked Chancellor Karl Nehammer, the Austrian government, and the people for their hospitality and affection.

PM Modi, who reached Vienna on Tuesday evening from Moscow, was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Federal Chancery on Wednesday morning.

He was warmly received by Chancellor Nehammer who had last week called the Indian Prime Minister's visit to Vienna as a "special honour" as it came at a time when the two countries are marking 75 years of diplomatic relations.

Following their talks on Wednesday, PM Modi said that India and Austria have identified "new possibilities" to further strengthen mutual cooperation besides also deciding to give a strategic direction to their bilateral ties.

In a joint statement along with the Austrian Chancellor, he said that he also held detailed discussions on the current geopolitical situation in the world, including the conflict in Ukraine or the situation in West Asia.

He mentioned that mutual trust and shared interests have strengthened India-Austria relations.

The Prime Minister also said that India and Austria will work together in areas such as infrastructure development, innovation, renewable energy, hydrogen, water and waste management, artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum technology and a blueprint for cooperation over the coming decades has been prepared.

He said that the startup bridge will be accelerated to connect the youth and ideas of both countries, and an agreement on mobility and migration partnership has already been reached, as well as on promoting exchanges between cultural and educational institutions will be promoted.

The PM also said that Austria had been invited to join the International Solar Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, and the Biofuel Alliance.

Addressing a group of leading Austrian and Indian CEOs from diverse sectors including infrastructure, automobile, energy, engineering and start-ups along with Chancellor Nehammer, Prime Minister Modi called on the Austrian business stakeholders to look at the fast-unfolding opportunities in India, as the country moves to become the third-largest economy in the world over the next few years.

He urged Austrian majors to leverage the Indian economic landscape for high-quality and cost-effective manufacturing under the Make in Inda programme both for the domestic and international market, and as a global supply chain destination, and utilise the investment opportunities in India.

PM Modi also met Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen who noted that his country needs India as a partner in a structurally sustainable transformation towards climate neutrality.

Thanking the Indian Prime Minister for visiting Austria, Van der Bellen stated that both countries can work in several areas, including the fight against climate change.

Prime Minister Modi also met Nobel physics laureate Anton Zeilinger and explored the possibilities around quantum technologies, along with a discussion over spirituality. After the meeting, the Austrian scientist said he experienced that PM Modi is a very spiritual person.

The PM also met distinguished Austrian Indologists Professor Birgit Kellner, Dr Martin Gaenszle, Dr Borayin Larios, and Dr Karin Preisendanz and discussed the rich tapestry of Indian history, philosophy, art, and culture, along with the origins of Indology in Austria.

Concluding his visit with an address to the Indian diaspora in Vienna, he said that the world sees India with great hope and everyone across the globe wants to learn more about India.

He also said that India and Austria, though geographically distant, have many similarities.

"Democracy connects both countries (India and Austria). Our shared values are liberty, equality, pluralism, and respect for the rule of law. Our societies are multicultural and multilingual. Both countries, celebrate diversity, and a big medium to reflect these values are elections," the PM said to loud cheers.


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