New Delhi: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi concludes his Russia visit, he will travel to Austria from July 9-10, marking his first visit to the country after a significant gap of over 40 years since the last Indian Prime Minister visited Austria.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra expressed confidence and said that this trip would help us broaden the scope of our partnership, along with helping to address issues of regional and global importance of mutual interest

"The visit, we are confident, will allow us to discuss various areas of importance in bilateral engagement as well as issues of regional and global importance of mutual interest and help broaden the scope of our partnership," said Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra on PM Modi's first visit to Austria.

Addressing a special briefing on Friday, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said, "On the second leg of the trip, the Prime Minister will be visiting Austria on July 9-10 at the invitation of Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer."

This will be Prime Minister Modi's first visit to Austria. The Prime Minister had met the then Austrian Chancellor, who is now the Foreign Minister, Alexander Schallenberg, on October 2021, on the sidelines of COP26 in Glasgow. Prime Ministerial visit, I must mention, from India to Austria took place more than 40 years ago, "said the Foreign Secretary on PM visit."

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP26, was the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, held at the SEC Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, from October 31 to November 13, 2021.

Kwatra also announced that during his visit, PM Modi will call on Austria's President, Alexander Van der Bellen, and hold delegation-level talks with the officials.

"In terms of programming elements, the Prime Minister, besides the ceremonial welcome being accorded to him, would also call on the President of Austria and hold restricted delegation-level talks as well as high-level business engagement in Austria," said the Foreign Secretary.

While emphasising on Austria, the Foreign Secretary said that Austria is a key country in Central Europe, adding that Austria provides great opportunities for cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, renewable energy, high technology, start-ups, and media and entertainment.

"Austria is an important Central European country, the headquarters of, as you would all know, the International Atomic Energy Agency, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)," said Kwatra during a briefing on Friday.

"Austria offers excellent opportunities for bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, renewable energy, high technology areas, start-up sectors, media, and entertainment and has registered good growth over the last couple of years," he added.

In February 2024, a new initiative called the "starter bridge" was launched between the two countries and it is already showing positive results. Additionally, India and Austria signed a comprehensive agreement on migration and mobility," Foreign Secretary said.

"Our investment linkages also continue to grow, even though, in volume terms, they may be small. Several Austrian companies have a presence in India. In February 2024, in India-Austria, a starter bridge was also launched, which has already had a very promising start. India and Austria had also signed a comprehensive migration and mobility agreement," said Kwatra

"In May last year, and both sides will continue to work closely to expand and explore new areas of bilateral partnership," he added.

(With Inputs From Agencies)