VIENNA, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese top legislator Wu Bangguo and Austrian Acting Chancellor Josef Proll met here on Saturday, with both sides agreeing to expand bilateral trade and economic cooperation in the fight against the ongoing world financial crisis.
Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), said China's development has provided even greater room for expanding economic and technological cooperation with Austria.
Wu Bangguo (L Front), chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, meets with Austrian Acting Chancellor Josef Proll (R Front) in Vienna, capital of Austria, May 16, 2009. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
Proll said the financial crisis had incurred a serious impact on Austria's economy. In the process of addressing the consequences of the financial crisis, the Austrian government places great importance on strengthening economic and technological relations with China.
China witnessed an economic growth of 6.1 percent in the first quarter of this year, while Austria's economy contracted 2.8 percent in the same period.
Noting that the two economies are highly complementary, Wu said China has a huge market and Austria has advanced technologies in many fields. He said China is ready to expand cooperation with Austria in such areas as energy efficiency, environment protection, water conservancy, eco-agriculture, auto parts and clean energy, so as to foster new growth spots of both economies.
Proll said Austria will actively transfer advanced technology to China in a bid to expand cooperative areas and carry out large-scale projects. He said that the two countries should turn their economic complementarity into real fruits of cooperation, so as to help the Austrian economy to rally and bring benefits to the people of both countries.
Wu said both sides should encourage their companies to seek new cooperative opportunities brought about by the governments' economic stimulus measures.
Wu noted that the Chinese government's policy package to counter the impact of the financial crisis has achieved initial results. China is now focusing on restructuring the economy and changing the pattern of growth in a bid to attain sustainable growth.
He said the governments of both countries should create favorable conditions for and facilitate the flow of travelers and cooperation between companies of the two countries.
Proll said that he agreed with Wu.
Wu also met on Saturday with Barbara Prammer, president of the Austrian National Council, or the lower chamber of the parliament.
Wu Bangguo (L front), chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, meets with Austrian National Council President Barbara Prammer (R front) in Vienna, capital of Austria, May 15, 2009. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
During his meeting with Prammer, Wu said Austria is an important cooperative partner of China in Europe. Prammer said Wu's visit reflects the closeness of relations between the two countries.
Reviewing the regular contact between the governments, parliaments, political parties and local governments of the two countries, Wu said greater political trust, rapidly growing trade and increasing cultural exchanges helped enhance popular mandate to the expansion of bilateral relations.
Prammer said as bilateral links and cooperation in various fields grow smoothly, more and more Austrian people are now willing to learn about China. She said the social basis and popular mandate for expanding Austria-China relations are growing, which will cast a bright future for bilateral cooperation.
Wu expressed appreciation that the new government and newly-elected parliament of Austria have given priority to developing relations with China. In order to lift bilateral links to a new level, Wu suggested that the two sides should maintain the current momentum of high-level contact and further deepen political trust.
Wu said the parliaments of the two countries should strengthen friendly relations by carrying out exchanges at all levels and in all forms. He welcomes more and more Austrian parliamentarians to visit China.
The top Chinese lawmaker suggested that the two countries should further expand trade, investment and economic cooperation by utilizing their specific advantages. Under the circumstances of the spreading world financial crisis, it is of greater significance to strengthen such cooperation, he said.
China welcomes Austrian companies to explore business opportunities in the country and participate in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, said Wu.
He also suggested that the two sides should enhance cooperation in such areas as culture, tourism, local governance and education.
He said the two countries should also have even closer cooperation on international affairs. They should join hands to oppose any forms of trade protectionism and push for the establishment of a fair, just, inclusive and orderly financial system in the world.
Wu said both countries can make contribution to maintaining stability of the international financial market and promoting recovery of the world economy.
In response, Prammer said Austria places its relations with China on an important position in its foreign policy. She said Austria is ready to expand the flow of people traveling between the two countries so as to enhance mutual understanding and trust. She also expressed the willingness to further deepen bilateral links in such areas as local contact and cultural exchanges.
She said the parliament of Austria will have closer cooperation with the NPC to promote the development of Austria-China relations.
Wu is in Vienna for an official goodwill visit. He is the first NPC chairman to visit the country in 15 years.