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PM Modi arrives in Vienna for historic visit; both nations focus on tech partnerships

PM Modi arrives in Vienna for historic visit; both nations focus on tech partnerships

Vienna: After completing yet another historic trip to Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi left Moscow late on Tuesday night and arrived in Vienna.

As the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to a Central European country in forty-one years, the host nation is eagerly awaiting PM Modi's arrival in Austria, the second stop on his two-nation tour.

Karl Nehammer, the chancellor of Austria, described Prime Minister Modi's upcoming visit to Vienna as a "special honour" on Saturday and expressed his excitement for it.

During his stay in Vienna, PM Modi will call on Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and hold talks with Chancellor Nehammer. Both leaders will also address business leaders from India and Austria.

"I very much look forward to welcoming Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, the world's largest democracy, next week in Vienna. This visit is a special honour as it marks the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister in over forty years and a significant milestone as we celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations with India," Chancellor Nehammer said on Saturday.

"We will have the opportunity to talk about further deepening our bilateral relationship and closer cooperation on the many geopolitical challenges," he added.

Replying to Chancellor Nehammer's post on X, PM Modi said that he is also looking forward to having discussions to take the India-Austria partnership to even greater heights in new and emerging areas of innovation, technology and sustainable development among others.

"Thank you, Chancellor Karl Nehammer. It is indeed an honour to visit Austria to mark this historic occasion. I look forward to our discussions on strengthening the bonds between our nations and exploring new avenues of cooperation. The shared values of democracy, freedom and rule of law form the bedrock upon which we will build an ever closer partnership," he mentioned.

In October 2021, on the sidelines of COP26 in Glasgow, Prime Minister Modi had held discussions with then-Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg who is now the Foreign Minister of the country.

PM Modi is also scheduled to interact with members of the Indian community in Vienna on Wednesday.

Last week, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra called Austria an "important central European country" which offers excellent opportunities for bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, renewable energy, high technology areas, start-up sectors, media and entertainment.

He also highlighted the growing India-Austria trade and investment linkages, including the recent launch of an India-Austria start-up bridge in February 2024 that has made a "very promising" start.

"The visit we are confident will allow us to discuss various areas of importance in bilateral engagement, as also issues of regional and global importance of mutual interest, and help broaden the scope of our partnership," said Foreign Secretary Kwatra, IANS reported.

India and Austria had also signed a Comprehensive Migration and Mobility Agreement in May last year and continue to work closely to expand and explore new areas of bilateral partnership.

"We're also looking at what we can do in terms of technology. There are over, I think, 30 to 40 large Austrian companies already present in India in a range of areas from infrastructure, tunnelling, and track laying. We've got a fair amount of investments from India already in Austria. But we want to see how we can take these forward. We want to look at other key areas, clean technologies, and renewables. We want to look at different areas where we can try and work together," said Pavan Kapoor, Secretary (West) at the Ministry of External Affairs.

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