PM Modi accorded ceremonial welcome in Vienna on landmark Austria visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Wednesday accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Federal Chancery as he began his landmark visit to Austria, the first by an Indian Prime Minister to the country in 41 years.

Scripting a new chapter in bilateral relations, PM Modi was warmly received by Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer who had last week called the Indian Prime Minister's visit to Vienna as a "special honour".

The Austrian Chancellor hosted PM Modi for a private engagement as the Indian PM arrived from Moscow on Tuesday evening. This was the first meeting between the two leaders and comes at a time when the two countries are marking 75 years of diplomatic relations.

He said that discussions on realising the "full potential" of bilateral partnership lie ahead.

Prime Minister Modi thanked Chancellor Nehammer for the "warm welcome" and said that he was looking forward to the discussions on Wednesday as both nations continue working together to further global good.

PM Modi receives warm welcome in Vienna

Besides holding talks with Chancellor Nehammer, PM Modi is also scheduled to call on Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, address business leaders from India and Austria and interact with members of the Indian community in Vienna.

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.

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.

(With inputs from IANS)