Dear Fellow Countrymen, dear Friends of Austria,
Welcome to the website of the Austrian Embassy! Here you will find information about politics, culture, economics and consular events; for news about foreign policy, cultural events abroad, joint international projects and current events, you may consult the website of the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.
In a country that is more than a hundred times as big as Austria, it is a formidable task indeed to promote the interests of our homeland and at the same time to see to the needs of Austrians now living in Canada. We like to see ourselves as a kind of central service centre receiving support from the branch offices in charge of foreign trade in Montreal and Toronto, and from the honorary consulates also. We are constantly seeking ways to strengthen the Austrian presence in Canada, to promote the cooperation and partnership with Canada and to accomodate needs of fellow Austrians who are now living in this beautiful country.
Bilateral relations between Austria and Canada date back to the year 1855/56. Since then many forms of cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally, have taken place, particulary within the United Nations, in the areas of Peacekeeping, Human Rights and Rule of Law.
It is gratifying to note that the number of high-ranking official visits from Austria to Canada has recently significantly increased. One example is the official visit of Foreign Minister Dr. Michael Spindelegger to Ottawa on 27/28th of October 2010. Also, the Olympic Winter Games in February of 2010 in Van-couver/Whistler have added fresh momentum to the bilateral relations.
Canada is Austria's fifth-largest trading partner overseas. Approximately 80 Austrian companies have representations in Canada. Similarly there are important Canadian investments in Austria. One of the modern tasks of an Embassy is to create favourable conditions for trade relations, a task carried out in cooperation with the trade commissions. Other fields of cooperation are in the areas of renewable energy and environment technology.
The so-called Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which is currently negotiated between Canada and the European Union is expected to lead to a further intensification of economic and commercial contacts.
Given the importance of Canada and our bilateral relations, a Cultural Forum has been established at the Austrian Embassy in Ottawa. Music, culture and way of life are areas in which we have much in common with our Canadian friends. The expansion of cultural, artistic, scientific and also interpersonal relations is a task to which I as Ambassador will pay much attention.
Austrians have made a very real contribution to making Canada the country it is today, namely one of the best countries in the world in which to live. We want to build on this success and discover new ways for our two countries to work together.
Your suggestions, comments and questions are always most welcome. Please send us an e-mail (see quicklinks).
Mag. Arno Riedel
Austrian Ambassador to Canada