Thailand & Australia Plan to Introduce Mutual Visa Exemption

In a bid to foster closer ties and enhance travel and business opportunities, Thailand and Australia are planning the establishment of a mutual visa exemption scheme.

The proposal was presented during a high-level meeting between Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Australia’s Governor-General, David Hurley, in Bangkok on February 14, VisaGuide.World reports.

Emphasizing Thailand’s commitment to strengthening tourism, Prime Minister Srettha outlined measures to guarantee safety and create favorable conditions for travelers. At the same time, he encouraged Australian visitors to explore health-oriented travel experiences in Thailand, highlighting both countries’ satisfaction with the existing level of tourism activity.

According to Vietnam Plus, Strettha proposed intensifying cooperation to strengthen the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), intending to enhance the volume and value of trade. The same extended an invitation to Australian investors to explore opportunities within the growing green energy and intelligent technology sectors.

Speaking ahead of the upcoming ASEAN-Australia Special Summit scheduled for early next month, Hurley expressed optimism about Thailand’s prospects for attracting investment and highlighted the government’s ambitious Southern Land Bridge project. The summit presents a key opportunity for Thailand to showcase its economic potential on a regional stage.

Both sides expressed satisfaction with the ongoing military cooperation, which has included joint exercises and staff training initiatives, Vietnam Plus explains.

In this regard, Prime Minister Srettha pointed out that deepening cooperation in this field would increase the defense readiness of both countries in facing emerging security challenges.

During the last month, Thailand has also entered into a bilateral agreement with China to adopt a reciprocal visa waiver, eliminating the need for visas for citizens traveling between the two countries.

The move signals Thailand’s proactive approach to growing tourism and fostering closer ties with China, a critical economic and strategic partner. Building on the success of a temporary visa waiver extended to Chinese visitors last September, originally planned to expire on February 29, 2024, Thailand has chosen to harden the policy into a permanent arrangement.

The latter made the same decision to waive visas for travelers from India and Taiwan in November 2023. This policy, which came into force in December 2023, is scheduled to remain in force until May 2024.

Currently, Thailand’s passport ranks 107th in the world. While Thai citizens enjoy visa-free access to 47 countries worldwide, they must obtain a regular visa to enter a total of 118 countries, including Australia.

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