Indonesia, Myanmar sign visa exemption agreement, tourism increase possible

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar (ANTAR News) - Indonesia and Myanmar have signed a Visa Exemption agreement for regular passport holders which could result in an increase of tourists from both countries.

"The earlier signing was of the Visa Exemption agreement. I think it is very important to improve relations between the people of both countries, partly to increase connectivity between ASEAN countries," said Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa here Saturday.

The agreement was signed by Minister Natalegawa and his Myanmar counterpart, U Wunna Muang Lwin, on the sidelines of the 24th ASEAN Summit meeting.

Marty expect that the Visa Exemption for regular passport holders could increase tourism in both countries.

"The relationship between Indonesia and Myanmar is really good, in terms of a historical perspective, both countries have experienced a process of a democratic transition," Marty said.

Besides tourism, Indonesia and Myanmar also expect to increase their trade and investment cooperation, Marty added.

"Myanmar is now an increasingly open economy, which creates opportunities for our entrepreneurs to cooperate," Marty said.

Similar to Indonesia, Myanmar is also facing many challenges during its transition process, with many conflicts, and the two countries are working together to support each other.

The agreement is expected to help both countries reach a bilateral trade target of one billion U.S. dollars in 2016.

The Indonesia-Myanmar Visa Exemption Agreement has been prepared to reflect the spirit of the ASEAN Common Visa and the establishment of the ASEAN Community by 2015, as stipulated in the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Visa Exemption signed in Kuala Lumpur on July 25, 2006.

The agreement also strengthens the implementation of Government Regulation number 43 year 2011, regarding the Third Amendment to Presidential Decree No. 18 of 2003 on short term Visa Exemptions.