Margarete Schramboeck, Austrian Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs, said she would like to see Austria function as a bridge between the European Union and China.
The Minister said Austria is looking to expand the country’s economic ties with Asia by substantially increasing business visits to the region and attracting investments, from e-commerce to electric automobiles.
“We want to at least double or triple the number of Chinese investments in Austria,” she told the Global Times in an interview earlier this month. “Chinese investments in Austria are still at the beginning. We can do more,” she said.
According to the 47-year-old Schramboeck, while Austria, which takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the third time this July, has the knowledge of eastern European markets, China can open the door to other Asian markets.
The minister condemned US’ crackdown on Chinese imports and called for implementation of tax and data-protection rules to support new digital industries in Europe, demonstrating Austria’s readiness to counter protectionist trade trends by opening up to countries outside the 28-nation bloc.
“Nobody ever wins a trade war, even if one side or the other country thinks it can,” Schramboeck told Bloomberg in an interview.
The top government official participated in a record trade delegation this month, with Chinese and Austrian companies signing 30 business agreements worth 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion) and covering a wide range of sectors.