Speaking in Austria-India Business Forum, organized by CII, the minister expressed that trade and investment can be enhanced in the fields of renewable energy, safe water, hydro plant, infrastructure, and waste management.

Alexander Schallenberg, Austrian Minister for European and International Affairs said that huge business opportunities exist for India and Austria to enhance trade and investment. 

He added that the potential can be reflected by the fact that the bilateral trade has crossed the USD one billion mark. 

“We are reliable partners, we are people who look for a long-term relationship. There are no political strings attached when you deal with Austrian businesses, I can assure you that,” the minister said in Austria- India Business Forum, organized by CII. 

“We all know that there is an enormous untapped potential in relations between Austria and India,” Schallenberg noted.

He added that business opportunities can be harvested and acted upon in the fields of renewable energy, safe water, hydro plant, infrastructure, and waste management.

“Indian markets might be one of the most challenging ones…but we are hopeful that out of these meetings and talks, some doors will open,” he added.

“As far as businesses are concerned, we have (to) be aware that there is a real earthquake going on…Yes, there might be medium-term or long-term opportunities for other countries…but this is something where we should not look at it in that way because what we seeing is actually a catastrophe,” Schallenberg said expressing concern on the geopolitical catastrophe between Russia and Ukraine. 

“Both the countries share similar values and goals such as commitment to democracy, respect for rule of law, global peace and security while India has proven that democracy can flourish in developing nations with very large populations and immense diversity,” the Rajya Sabha chairman Venkiah Naidu said welcoming a parliamentary delegation last week. 

As per the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, India’s main exports to Austria are apparel, Textile, Footwear, Rubber articles, Vehicles & Railways parts, Electrical machinery, and Mechanical appliances.  India’s key import commodities from Austria are Machinery, Mechanical appliances, Railway parts, Iron and Steel, etc. 

As per 2018 data disclosed by Austrian National Bank, Austria has invested amounting to the tune of 532 million EUR in India. 

A recent estimate suggests that there are around 31000 Indians primarily from Kerala and Punjab working in Austria mainly in the healthcare sector and self-employed sectors.