India simplifies visa procedures for ASEAN citizens

The Indian Government has agreed to streamline visa procedures for citizens from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines, said the Financial Times of India on October 31.

Citizens from the four ASEAN nations will be granted immigration visas to enter India at the border. The decision will come into force as of January 1 next year. India has finalised a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on developing tourism with ASEAN countries.

Around 3 million Indian people visit ASEAN countries each year and there are 380 flights from India to ASEAN countries every week. On India-ASEAN trade relations, the newspaper quoted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the 8th ASEAN-India Summit in Hanoi, saying that ASEAN is a nucleus for the economic links that should be established in the Asia-Pacific region. The Indian PM also said he hoped that the necessary procedures for implementing the India-ASEAN free trade agreement on the exchange of goods will be completed soon.

In addition, the signing of cooperation agreements on services and investment will give fresh impetus to the two sides’ common goal of promoting comprehensive economic cooperation.

We hope that this will be a positive steps towards improving bilateral ties.