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By Marcus Tracy
Austrian Ambassador to the United States Petra Schneebauer hosted U.S. partners including U.S. Ambassador to Austria Victoria Kennedy, the Adjutant General of Vermont Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight and Vermont Secretary of Commerce Lindsay Kurrle during this year’s SelectUSA Investment Summit.
The summit connects investors, companies and economic development organizations focusing on economic partnership through U.S. investment. The event celebrated the strong trade and investment relations between the Republic of Austria and the U. S. The U.S. is one of the top three trading partners with Austria. The gathering was a great opportunity to celebrate the current state of our countries’ partnership and share enthusiasm for how it will grow.
“Certainly, the value of the military-to-military aspect of the State Partnership Program has always been something I am immensely proud of. Expanding that cooperation to civilian engagement has always been part of the larger vision for a whole of society approach to our partnership,” said Knight. “There was a lot of excitement in the room for growing our partnership and I personally can’t wait to continue that work.”
The National Guard's State Partnership Program (SPP) is a unique initiative that promotes partnerships between the National Guard units of different states and partner nations, aimed at enhancing mutual understanding, trust, and cooperation. These partnerships involve not only military personnel but also civilian organizations spanning military, government, economic and social spheres. This holistic approach enables a broad-based exchange of knowledge, skills, and ideas that benefit all stakeholders.
Vermont was officially partnered with the Republic of Austria in 2021. Vermont also has two other partners, North Macedonia and Senegal. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Vermont’s partnership with North Macedonia while they have been paired with Senegal since 2008.