BANGKOK, 10 June 2014: Citizens of all ASEAN nations should be able to enjoy visa-free travel to Myanmar by the end of the year, according to, Myanmar Tourism Federation secretary general, Kyi Thein Ko.
Fielding questions at a press conference during last week’s TTM, he said visa-free entry for ASEAN nationals was a priority.
“We must implement visa-free entry by 2015 for the entire region,” he said.
One of the objectives is to round off its chairmanship by meeting the principle of visa-free travel that is outlined in the founding charter.
Also, Myanmar as the chair will usher in the ASEAN Economic Community January 2015, the start of a trade-free era and easy travel facilitation is an important component to make it a success.
Myanmar has signed bilateral visa-free agreements with Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam Philippines and Brunei to encourage two-way travel.
Agreements have yet to be signed with Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.
Thailand and Myanmar were supposed to sign off on the agreement at last December’s SEA Games , held in the capital Nay Pyi Taw.
However, former Thai prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, cancelled her trip to the Games resulting in the postponement of the final round of talks and the signing ceremony.
“There were some technical issues,” said the federation secretary general. “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 said further talks were needed.
Myanmar commits to visa-free ASEAN