INDIA, AUSTRIA TO STEP UP BILATERAL TRADE; AGREEMENTS TO BE SIGNED IN
HEALTH & RAILWAY SECTORS
AGREED MINUTES OF THE SEVENTH SESSION OF INDO-AUSTRIAN JOINT ECONOMIC COMMISSION SIGNED
Date : 19 Dec 2000
Location : New Delhi
India and Austria have identified ways and means of stepping up bilateral trade between the two countries and furthering cooperation in the health and railway sectors. Draft agreements in these sectors were under negotiation, which would soon be signed by the two sides. The Seventh session of the Indo-Austrian Joint Economic Commission concluded here today with the signing of Agreed Minutes by Shri L.V. Saptharishi, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry on behalf of Government of India and Mr. Josef Mayer, Vice Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs & Labour on behalf of Government of Austria. Besides exchanging instruments of ratification of the agreement for bilateral protection and promotion of investments, the two sides also identified ways and means of stepping up bilateral cooperation in trade, industry, energy, steel, tourism, civil aviation, agriculture, animal husbandry, telecommunications, environment and information technology.
The two sides also decided to establish a joint working group on tourism to identify areas of cooperation. Specific projects discussed in this area were development of a ski resort, Solan, Himachal Pradesh and improvement of Dal Lake in Jammu & Kashmir. Both sides evinced keen interest for cooperation in the information technology (IT) sector. A delegation from Austria would participate in IETF and India Soft Expo to be held in the months of January and February next year.
Replying to queries from media persons, Shri Saptharishi said that in the health sector, proposals for exchange of medical personnel in certain specific areas of interest to both sides and exchange of know-how relating to the running of primary and regional health centres were under consideration. On this, Mr. Mayer added that Austria was prepared to go in for cooperation in building up infrastructure in the health sector such as construction of hospitals and other areas. In the railway sector, technology transfer was under consideration for areas such as track improvement, railway coach building etc.
Bilateral trade between India and Austria is presently of the order of US $ 175 million and since 1991 more than 200 foreign collaboration and joint ventures between India and Austria have been approved. These cover sectors such as electrical equipment, paper & pulp, chemicals, industrial machinery, metallurgy and transportation.