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ReFocus Austria in Armenia: Foreign Minister Schallenberg´s visit focuses on economic ties

AUSTRIA, February 2 - Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg's two-day visit to Armenia from 2nd to 3rd February 2022 was dominated by the ReFocus Austria initiative and efforts to strengthen economic relations between the two countries. With this aim in mind, the Foreign Minister was accompanied by a sizeable economic delegation, and used his appearance at the Austro-Armenian Economic Forum to advocate for the interests of Austrian businesses operating in the region.

A delegation of almost 20 people, representing Austrian companies, the Federal Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber have joined me on this visit to Armenia. That underlines our desire and interest in establishing a strong economic cooperation. The aim of the ReFocus Austria initiative is to work together to speed up our recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, to boost our economy, and to open doors,

said Foreign Minister Schallenberg at the opening of the bilateral economic forum.

In total, the economic delegation consisted of 18 Austrian firms, which represent the core competencies of the domestic economy, including digitalization, renewables energies, energy efficiency, and environmental technology. The trip enabled companies to reinforce their economic interests in the region. Doppelmayr, Austria´s global market leader in ropeway engineering, was also part of the delegation and is expected to construct a ski-lift system in Armenia´s Aragotson region later this year as part of the development of a new ski-area.

Foreign Minister Schallenberg's itinerary also included a visit to the first, and so far only, steel mill in Charentsavan, just outside the Armenian capital of Yerevan. The site has been operating since 2013, using equipment from Primetales Technologies Austria. The Austrian firm provides metal producers with bespoke modern equipment and services, as well as systems to make steel production even more environmentally sustainable.

ReFocus Austria is an integral part of the Austrian federal government's "Comeback Plan," which aims to re-build the economy during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.