DVB Multimedia Group

Free tourist visas to Burma (for Thais)

Citizens from Thailand can now enter Burma on short trips without a visa, and vice versa. (PHOTO: Wikicommons).

Thailand and Burma 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 Burmese counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin during the Thai-Burma Joint Commission meeting in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai.

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 citizens with ordinary passports from both countries to enter through international airports and stay for up to 14 days.

Most Thai and Burmese 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.

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

This article originally appeared in The Bangkok Post on 29 July 2015.