Burma Still to Sign Visa-Free Travel Deals With Four Asean Countries
Monday 16 of June 2014
Visa-free travel into Burma for all citizens of Asean, the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations, should be implemented by the end of this
year, the country's tourism industry chief said.
Burma has already signed visa-free agreements with five of the 10
Asean members, but negotiations have still to be finalized with four
other countries, including neighbor Thailand, said tourism federation
secretary-general Kyi Thein Ko.
Burma is current chairman of Asean and the aim is to achieve visa-free
travel across the 10 member countries by the time Naypyidaw hands over
the chairmanship in January, he told regional travel trade publication
Next year is also supposed to herald the beginning of the Asean
Economic Community, a European Union-style open trading market.
Burma has signed visa-free agreements with Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam
Philippines and Brunei, but has still to sign with Thailand,
Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, TTR Weekly said.
The political disruption in Bangkok, the ousting of former Prime
Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the subsequent military coup has
disrupted an agreement with Thailand, said Kyi Thein Ko.
"We understand Thailand agreed to visa-free facilitation at
international airports, but not overland checkpoints, which was part
of the proposal from our side," he was quoted by TTR Weekly as saying
at a tourism conference.
Bangkok has still not resolved the issue of work visa renewals for
hundreds of thousands of Burmese migrant workers who cross the land
border in Thailand.
ASEAN Single Visa
Tuesday 28 of January 2014
KUCHING, 21 January 2014: ASEAN's may have embarked on a mission to establish a so-called "common visa", but there is still a considerable distance to cover to make it a reality, according to assessments made during tourism minsters' press briefing Monday.
It warranted a mention in the minsters' progress report, outlined at a media briefing, but only to say ministers were working closely with relevant agencies on the development of a common visa for non-ASEAN nationals and its possible implications on tourism."
Relevant agencies in this instance are immigration bureaus, national security and police. Ministers admitted privately there are still considerable hurdles to overcome to turn it into a reality.
The subject gains an airing at the annual ATF usually in the minsters' report card on activities and discussion that confirm it is still on the radar, although not an urgent must-do project before the ASEAN Economic Community kicks in 2015.
On the sidelines of the ministers press briefing, Monday, Indonesia's minister of tourism and creative economy, Dr Mari Elka Pangestu, said 2014 would see Myanmar sign off on visa free entry for all ASEAN member-country citizens. It is the last of the 10 countries to introduce visa-free travel for the region's citizens.
"That will be significant progress, we are not sure when Myanmar will complete bilateral agreements on visa-free travel, but we have been assured it will happen before ATF 2015."
Myanmar has signed bilateral agreements on visa-free travel with Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines and Vietnam. Thailand was supposed to be next, but Thai caretaker prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, postponed her trip to Myanmar last November when she was scheduled to sign off on the agreement.
In addition, it is understood that Myanmar has still to negotiate bilateral agreements on visa-free travel with Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
""Once that process has been completed," Indonesia's tourism minister explained, "the next logical step would be to look closely at the Thailand-Cambodia single visa project that is now a pilot project... it could be extended to five of the six Mekong Region countries that all members of ASEAN."
If that project could be extended smoothly to include all five Mekong Region countries to offer a single visa for non-ASEAN nationalities, the minister believed it would become a sound platform to build an ASEAN-wide common visa.
ASEAN Common visa
Friday 14 of March 2014
ASEAN member countries have been working together to identify challenges and opportunities in developing a common visa for non-ASEAN nationals. There are still many challenges among ASEAN members that need to be overcome by considering security aspects, the lack of infrastructure and national interests of respective member countries among other things.U Htay Aung, Minister of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar
New pact allows Filipinos visa-free entry to Myanmar
Friday 6th of December 2013
MANILA, Dec. 6 -- Filipinos can now stay in Myanmar for up to 14 days without need for a visa, following the signing Thursday of an agreement between the Philippines and Myanmar.
The agreement was signed in Malacañan Palace, on the occasion of the state visit of Myanmar President Thein Sein to the country.
Signing the agreement were Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Myanmar Foreign Affairs Minister Wunna Maung Lwin.
Under the agreement, Filipino nationals holding ordinary passports are granted a no-visa entry to Myanmar for stays not exceeding 14 days.
Myanmar nationals may already enter the Philippines without a visa for up to 30 days under Executive Order 408.
Temporary visits covered by Executive Order 408 include conferences, company meetings, workshops/seminars, medical treatment, and trips of a personal nature for pleasure, such as tourism/sightseeing, visiting relatives and/or friends, recreation and amusement. (www.pcoo.gov.ph/PND (jl)
Myanmar, Vietnam to cooperate on visa exemption for ordinary passport holders
YANGON, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar and Vietnam will cooperate on visa exemption for ordinary passport holders to strengthen the existing friendly relations in all fields between the two countries, official daily New Light of Myanmar reported on Saturday.
The agreement on visa exemption for ordinary passport holders between the two nations was signed between Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in New York on Friday, the report said.
The move between the two countries desired to simplify the procedures and facilitate the traveling of citizens of the two countries.
Meanwhile, Myanmar will open all border gates to international visitors for entry and exit soon as the next phase after four gates on Myanmar-Thai border were so done recently.
Foreign visitors holding valid passport and visa will be allowed to enter and exit Myanmar through the Muse gate like Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports.
Myanmar grants different categories of visa, namely Entry Visa, Diplomatic Visa, Gratis Official Courtesy Visa, Tourist Visa, Business visa, Transit Visa and Multiple Journey Special Re-entry Visa.
PH, three nations agree to work on Asean common smart visa
05 Jun 2013
Ministers and tourism authorities of the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Indonesia have expressed their intention to collaborate with relevant government agencies and other stakeholders to facilitate travel in the region by developing a common smart visa system.
The Asean countries have signed the "Statement of Intent on Smart Visa" on Wednesday, June 5, at the 22nd World Economic Forum on East Asia currently taking place in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar (Burma).
ASEAN members sign letter of intent at World Economic Forum for common smart visa system
June 06, 2013
Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines yesterday signed a letter of intent during the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia, being held in Myanmar, to set up a common smart visa system. The move is aimed at economic integration of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The visa will be on the lines of the Schengen visa that applies to the group of 26 European countries, and follows a call for a common visa by ASEAN leaders at Jakarta in November 2011, as per a report by Utpal Bhaskar in Mint.
Common ASEAN visa system in the making
June 6, 2013
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.
Philippines, 3 other Asean countries agree to adopt common visa scheme
June 7, 2013 9:54 AM
InterAksyon.com means BUSINESS
MANILA - The Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia and Indonesia have agreed to develop a common smart visa system to boost tourism across Southeast Asia.
During the 22nd World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia, ministers and tourism authorities of the four Asean member-states said they will facilitate travel in the region by developing a common smart visa system.
Tourism ministers of the four Asean member-states have signed the "Statement of Intent on SMART Visa" during the ongoing WEF meeting taking place in Nay Pyi Taw from June 5-7.
Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines Agree to Work on ASEAN Common Smart Tourism
June 5, 2013
Fon Mathuros, Director, Media, World Economic Forum, Tel.: +41 (0)79 201 0211;
Language of Myanmar
- Ministers and tourism authorities from Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Secretary of Tourism of the Philippines have today agreed to collaborate on a smart tourism system
- Letter of intent was signed in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, during the World Economic Forum on East Asia
- Over 900 participants from 55 countries are taking part in the meeting on 5-7 June
- For more information about the meeting, please visit http://wef.ch/ea13
- Download the Media Mobile/iPad App for the 2013 World Economic Forum on East Asia
CLMV Combining Visa to Target 25 million Tourist by 2015 - ministers.
September 20, 2012
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, which form the Mekong Sub-Region agreed last week in Ho Chi Minh City to implement a Combined single visa among themselves. Thailand could even join the scheme.
Foreign ministers from Cambodia and Thailand signed an agreement last week to allow foreign tourists to enter either country on a single visa. The move is an effort to streamline tourism to the region. If this proves successful, it may also be adopted by Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. If that occurs, a traveler could visit all five countries on one visa. The signing moves the project along, but other regulations must be put in place before the plan is implemented, and a date has not been set.
� Cooperate to ensure there is visitor exchange and target 25 million international trips to the four countries by 2015.
� Exchange information on tourism planning and marketing.
� Cooperate on joint tourism product development.
� Assist each other on human resource development.
� Establish the standardization of tourism services and quality improvement.
� Cooperate on tourism investment promotion.
� Work with third party international organisations
� Hold annual ministerial meetings in rotation with Cambodia as the host for next year.
As well as covering the Mekong sub-region, the visa would also include Cambodia�s current tourism partner, Thailand.
The four ministers signed the CLMV Tourism Joint Cooperation Plan covering the 2013-15 period. The new plan specifies increased information exchange among the four countries as well as the development of joint tourism products that are of high quality. It also envisages joint efforts in attracting more investment into the tourism sector as well as acting together in promoting cooperation with the third parties including countries and international organizations.
Pleased with the �impressive development� of tourism negotiations, Minister Tuan Anh told media that combined, the four countries saw 12.3 million international travellers visit the region, a growth of 14.5 percent on 2010.
The Minister said as well as combining visas, the four Ministers were also looking towards creating new plans to increase information exchange across the four countries and develop new tourism products.
Vietnam minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hoang Tuan Anh said of all the points, human resources was the most important because the quality of people skills will determine the quality of the products.
Because the four countries are developing infrastructure as well as tourism products, Mr Hoang added: �We recognise the short-comings in human resources and related problems and will put all effort to overcome the challenges.
�The four countries will invest in infrastructure and will enhance connectivity � air and land transport. Vietnam has invested a lot and we encourage other countries to do so.�
According to Sonny AMO, owner of Tourism Myanmar Travel in Yangon, the Myanmar government is in the process of drafting Tourism Master Plan which will be submitted to the President for approval. National Level conference has just finished in Naypyidaw, finalizing the action points - amending some rules, especially on land-ownership periods, Home Stay and to welcome tourism investment. However Tourism sector is not a top priority in Myanmar. It is far behind Oil and Gas, Fishery, Mining and Agriculture.
The opening up of Myanmar gives countries like Laos and Cambodia some concerns about competition for tourists. That pristine nation has everything for tourism, especially a charming culture such as the wearing of sarongs by men, pristine islands of Mergui Archipelago.
He is concerned that the cooperation also bring human resource problems such as foreign companies over powering and taking the jobs of locals. For example Foreign Companies forming their own tour companies under Myanmar Citizen Name to exploity all the benefits of being a local company and foreigner guides replacing Myanmar guides. He urged governments to work together to have a balanced development across the region. Myanmar's inconsistent rules and regulations in Tourism sector is also hurting Myanmar's image, he said.