Vienna, 31 October 2003 Press release

Ferrero-Waldner on official visit to China from 2 to 7 November


Working talks in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong

Vienna, 31 October 2003 - Austrian Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner will be paying an official five-days visit to the People’s Republic of China from 2 to 7 November 2003. Ferrero-Waldner’s last official visit to China dates back to May 2001, when she visited the country within the framework of the ASEM Ministers’ Meeting (forum for cooperation between Asia and Europe). The Foreign Minster, who besides Beijing will also be visiting Shanghai and Hong Kong, will be accompanied by a large economic delegation.

In Beijing, Ferrero-Waldner will be meeting with her Chinese counterpart LI Zhaoxing for working talks on Monday, 3 November. The focus of these talks will be on the bilateral relations between Austria and China. In the evening, the Foreign Minister will be meeting Austrian expatriates in the Austrian embassy in Beijing.

On Tuesday, 4 November, Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner together with the Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), WAN Jifei, will be taking part in a roundtable discussion with the economic delegation, and in the afternoon the Foreign Minister will be meeting State Councillor TANG Jiaxuan and Prime Minister WEN Jiabao for talks.

On Wednesday, 5 November, Ferrero-Waldner will be visiting the "Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall" and the Shanghai Museum. Thereafter, Ferrero-Waldner will be meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Shanghai, JIANG Sixian, and the Governor of Pudong.

In the afternoon, Ferrero-Waldner will be attending the opening ceremony of a new technical centre of the Austria-based company AVL-List and thereafter will be discussing economic matters with the Shanghai city government, above all the opportunities the Shanghai Expo offers for Austrian enterprises.

On Thursday, 6 November, Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner will be attending the formal signing ceremony for an agreement between the Austrian company AVL-List and Tongji University for the endowment of a professorship for combustion engines.

In the evening, Ferrero-Waldner will be meeting Austrian expatriates at the Austrian Consulate General in Hong Kong and together with the delegation accompanying her will be attending a dinner with Denise Yue, Permanent Secretary of Commerce, Industry and Technology to celebrate the foundation of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

On Friday, 7 November, Ferrero-Waldner will be opening a roundtable conference on environmental issues in the presence of Arthur Ho, Deputy Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works, which will be followed by working talks with Chief Executive TUNG Chee Hwa at the Central Government Offices of Hong Kong.