Thailand, Myanmar sign visa-free agreement

Thailand, Myanmar sign visa-free agreement

A Myanmar woman waits for a bus at the Sule Pagoda, one of the major tourist attractions in Yangon where Thais will soon be able to visit without getting a visa first. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
A Myanmar woman waits for a bus at the Sule Pagoda, one of the major tourist attractions in Yangon where Thais will soon be able to visit without getting a visa first. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

CHIANG MAI - Thailand and Myanmar signed an agreement on Tuesday to allow citizens with ordinary passports to make visa-free visits of up to 14 days.

The agreement was signed by Foreign Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn and his Myanmar counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin during the Thai-Myanmar Joint Commission meeting in the northern city.

It will take effect on Aug 11, a statement released after the meeting said, with no further details.

The cabinet approved the agreement on June 21 for signing on Tuesday. It allows Thai and Myanmar citizens with ordinary passports to enter through international airports and stay for up to 14 days.

Most Thai and Myanmar airlines operate flights between the two countries using Suvarnabhumi and Chiang Mai airports.

Gen Tanasak said before the meeting that the agreement is aimed at boosting tourism, trade and other ties between the two countries.

"This reflects concrete cooperation between two countries and the agreement will promote tourism, trade and other economic cooperation. But only air travel is allowed in the initial stage," he said.

Myanmar will open a consulate-general in Chiang Mai on Wednesday in a ceremony to be attended by the two ministers.

The two countries also pledged to boost trade to US$12 billon by 2017 and promote border trade activities.

Thai-Myanmar trade was worth $8.15 billion last year, according to the Commerce Ministry.


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