Common ASEAN visa system in the making

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Myanmar visaFour ASEAN countries on June 5 at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia 2013 held in Myanmar signed an agreement to facilitate easier travel in the region through a common smart visa system.

Tourism ministers and officials from Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines said such a visa system – modeled after the Schengen visa that applies to the group of 26 European countries – would help with pushing economic integration of ASEAN member countries.

The move follows a call for a common visa by ASEAN leaders in Jakarta in November 2011 and a common visa for Thailand and Cambodia that was already implemented on January 1, 2013. There were also talks about introducing a common business visa for ASEAN at the latest ASEAN summit in Brunei in April.

“By signing this letter of intent, ministers and tourism authorities agree to work hand-in-hand for the implementation of this system, whose objective will be that of eliminating those barriers to the movement of tourists which are currently creating disincentives to travel,” U Htay Aung, Myanmar’s minister for hotels and tourism, said in a WEF statement.

“Such objectives will be achieved in close coordination with the governmental entities in each of their respective countries,” the minister added.

“The impending launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 means all member countries will be looking to implement a long-term strategy for strong networked trade and regional integration, as well as improving infrastructure to get the most out of fast-growing economies in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar,” consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers said in a report prepared for WEF.

“At the same time, ASEAN will work on managing its inherent internal diversity while presenting a united front in strategic bilateral relationships with key partners such as China, India and the US,” it said.
In a latest development, Ho Chi Minh City authorities have urged the Vietnam government to approach Thailand and other Mekong countries with the aim of implementing a one-visa policy within the region to bring in more tourists.The city is pressing for the campaign through the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the Saigon Times reported.
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Four ASEAN countries on June 5 at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia 2013 held in Myanmar signed an agreement to facilitate easier travel in the region through a common smart visa system. Tourism ministers and officials from Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines said such a visa system - modeled after the Schengen visa that applies to the group of 26 European countries - would help with pushing economic integration of ASEAN member countries. The move follows a call for a common visa by ASEAN leaders in Jakarta in November 2011 and a common visa for Thailand...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Myanmar visaFour ASEAN countries on June 5 at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia 2013 held in Myanmar signed an agreement to facilitate easier travel in the region through a common smart visa system.

Tourism ministers and officials from Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines said such a visa system – modeled after the Schengen visa that applies to the group of 26 European countries – would help with pushing economic integration of ASEAN member countries.

The move follows a call for a common visa by ASEAN leaders in Jakarta in November 2011 and a common visa for Thailand and Cambodia that was already implemented on January 1, 2013. There were also talks about introducing a common business visa for ASEAN at the latest ASEAN summit in Brunei in April.

“By signing this letter of intent, ministers and tourism authorities agree to work hand-in-hand for the implementation of this system, whose objective will be that of eliminating those barriers to the movement of tourists which are currently creating disincentives to travel,” U Htay Aung, Myanmar’s minister for hotels and tourism, said in a WEF statement.

“Such objectives will be achieved in close coordination with the governmental entities in each of their respective countries,” the minister added.

“The impending launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 means all member countries will be looking to implement a long-term strategy for strong networked trade and regional integration, as well as improving infrastructure to get the most out of fast-growing economies in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar,” consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers said in a report prepared for WEF.

“At the same time, ASEAN will work on managing its inherent internal diversity while presenting a united front in strategic bilateral relationships with key partners such as China, India and the US,” it said.
In a latest development, Ho Chi Minh City authorities have urged the Vietnam government to approach Thailand and other Mekong countries with the aim of implementing a one-visa policy within the region to bring in more tourists.The city is pressing for the campaign through the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the Saigon Times reported.
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