Ambassador Maria Cleofe Natividad Presents Credentials to Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen
Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and Ambassador Maria Cleofe R. Natividad spoke of the warm friendship and long relations between the peoples of Austria and the Philippines during the presentation of credentials at the Hofburg.
23 January 2018 VIENNA — Ambassador Maria Cleofe R. Natividad presented her credentials as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to the Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen at the Hofburg, the former imperial palace which is the official residence of the President on 08 January 2018.
During the official ceremony, Ambassador Natividad and President Van der Bellen spoke of the long-standing relations between Philippines and Austria, including the friendship between Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal and Ferdinand Blumentritt, an Austrian teacher. Ambassador Natividad promised to enhance bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries, while noting that the 30,000-strong Filipino community and the second generation Filipinos in Austria will be partners in soft diplomacy.
Afterwards, Ambassador Natividad hosted a reception and conveyed her plans to enhance economic cooperation with Austria and promote investments in the Philippines in the areas of infrastructure, energy, and clean water technology. She also expressed her intention to foster a people-centered diplomacy, with emphasis on facilitating people-to-people exchanges including in STEM education, in partnership with the honorary consuls who were also present.
Ambassador Natividad is the 9th resident ambassador of the Philippines to Austria, she was previously Philippine Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. Formal diplomatic relations between Philippines and Austria was established in October 1946 and recently marked its 70th year. Bilateral trade between Philippines and Austria is valued at $189.3 million in 2016. END
Ambassador Maria Cleofe R. Natividad presents her credentials to Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen at the Hofburg.
Left photo: Ambassador Maria Cleofe R. Natividad was given military honors by an honor guard at the Inner Courtyard of the Hofburg. Right photo: The Philippine National anthem is played during the military honors.
Philippine honorary consuls and the officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy and Mission in Vienna pose with the newly accredited Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Austria during the reception.