Dr M, Kurz meet to boost Malaysia-Austria ties


VIENNA • Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrived at the Federal Chancellery and had a meeting with the Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria Sebastian Kurz yesterday.

Also present in the meeting were Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya, Malaysian Ambassador to Austria Datuk Ganeson Sivagurunathan and three Malaysian senior officials.

The meeting between the two leaders was to discuss and exchange views on strengthening bilateral relations between Malaysia and Austria, particularly in the areas of trade and investment, education, science and technology and tourism, as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Earlier, Bernama also reported that Dr Mahathir was set to share the country’s efforts in curbing graft with the international community during his working visit to Austria as he attended the 10th General Conference and Annual Meeting of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities today.

He would be delivering a keynote address at the conference with the theme “15 years of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, Accomplishments and Prospects”.

Dr Mahathir is also scheduled to deliver a lecture, themed “Fighting Corruption in Malaysia: Achievements, Challenges and Perspectives” organised by the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Vienna.

Within the European Union, Austria is ranked Malaysia’s 10th-largest trading partner, 17th-largest export destination and eighth largest export source.

The total bilateral trade between Malaysia and Austria for the period of January- November 2018 stood at RM3.09 billion, an increase of 22% from RM2.53 billion in the corresponding period of 2017.

Malaysia’s export in 2018 amounted to RM0.47 billion, while import amounted to RM2.62 billion and the total trade has always been in favour of Austrian.

As of June 2018, a total of 17 manufacturing projects with Austrian participation was implemented with an investment value of RM53.6 million and generated a total of 2,747 employment opportunities.

Dr Mahathir last visited Austria in 1985 during his tenure as the fourth PM.