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Thursday, 06 June, 2013, 16 : 00 PM [IST]

ASEAN members sign letter of intent at World Economic Forum for common smart visa system

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.

U. Htay Aung, Minister for Hotels & Tourism, Myanmar, said, “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. Such objectives will be achieved in close coordination with the governmental entities in each of their respective countries.”

“More specifically, ministers of tourism have agreed to collaborate. It also builds on the single visa scheme for tourism travel between Cambodia and Thailand, which was implemented on January 1, 2013,” Aung said in a WEF statement.
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