VIENNA, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Austria has launched an "Africa Initiative" to deepen economic ties with the continent, which foreign ministry State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka presented to the ambassadors of 25 African nations in Vienna Monday.
The initiative carries the motto "more trade than aid" and aims to provide assistances such as the granting of soft loans and training courses in Austria, as well as increased cooperation in international organizations, the Foreign Ministry stated.
Lopatka said Austrian companies had good opportunities to intensify business cooperation in Africa as Austria was not burdened with a colonialist past in the continent, and the African ambassadors showed great interest in increased economic cooperation and also Austrian know-how in fields such as the tourism industry.
Austria is already active in the region, for instance in currently educating engineers in the construction of solar panels in South Africa and supporting coffee growers in Tanzania to produce high-quality product.
In addition, it has promoted the accession of African nations to the International Anti-Corruption Academy, aided in sustainable energy matters, and pushed for an African Union (AU) office at the United Nations Office in Vienna.