New Delhi: India and Austria have agreed to further intensify their commercial engagements with Austrian business delegates expressing a keen interest in investing in sectors such as renewable energy.

During the visit of European and International Affairs of Austria Alexander Schallenberg, the two sides discussed regional and global issues including developments in India-EU relations, the Indo-Pacific, Afghanistan and Ukraine. Russia began its military action in Ukraine on February 24.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Schallenberg held delegation-level talks on March 20. They discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including political, economic, commercial and consular ties.

Schallenberg, who visited India from March 19 to 21, was accompanied by a high-level business delegation. This is his first visit to India in his current term.

During the visit, the two sides also exchanged views on the COVID19 pandemic, including the Vaccine Maitri initiative and mutual recognition of vaccination certificates.

A Ministry of External Affairs release said that over 150 Austrian companies are based in India in sectors like engineering, road construction, railways, hydel power plants, water treatment and auto components. Several Indian companies have also invested in Austria, especially in fields of IT, Medicare and auto-components.

"Both sides agreed to further intensify commercial engagements. Austrian business delegates expressed keen interest in investing in sectors such as renewable energy in India," the release said.

It said that India and Austria have warm and cordial relations which are based on shared values of democracy, freedom and rule of law.

"Our bilateral relations are marked by strong linkages across institutions, academia, culture and people to people ties," the release said.

Both sides also discussed cultural linkages and looked forward to the celebrations of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav as well as 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations in 2024.