The single Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) visa will become a reality, but it could take some time, said Thai ambassador to Qatar Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum.
This visa, which would be similar to Schengen, will allow Asean countries to issue a single visa to people from outside the region that would allow them to travel from one Asean country to another without restrictions. While speaking to reporters at a press meet at the Singapore embassy on 8 August in Doha, Chaiyindeepum was quoted by Gulf Times as saying that the process had begun, with Thailand and Cambodia allowing people to apply for one visa, using which one could visit both these countries.
Chaiyindeepum, who also acts as the vice chairman of the Asean Committee in Qatar, said that the visa would be implemented across the all the countries of Asean in the near future to attract more tourists from all over the world.
Adding that this region was becoming politically much more stable, Chaiyindeepum believed that it would attract more investments. Since its goal was to become a single market, he was of the belief that investors would view economic interdependency as a value-add and an advantage. According to him, it would prove beneficial to all, including investors. They had formed the Asean Community and are hoping to come up with the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in a decade. As of now, citizens of the Asean nations do not need a visa to travel within the region. Chaiyindeepum said that Asean now put in place special arrangements for seven professions, including architects, doctors, accountants, and so on, who would be able to work in any place within the bloc. Wong Kwok Pun, the Singaporean ambassador to Qatar, said that they were facing criticism from some quarters for moving at a snails pace for integration and were following in the footsteps of the European Union. He categorically denied that it was not at all heir intention and added that they were initially a bloc of five countries who were trying to explore ways of working together. The coalition now includes 10 countries and it had ironed out many issues which were proving to be thorny, Pun said.
Concurring with the statement of Chaiyindeepum, he said that their consortium had provided Asean citizens the opportunity to visit the other member nations without any visa, just like the nationals of GCC.
Though EU serves as a model, their intention was not to ape it. To move to the next stage is something they would have to work on, said Pun. He added that they were moving towards a common market and that the AEC is what they would want to achieve by 2025.
If you want to tour Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and other Asean countries, come to Y-Axis to avail its assistance and guidance to file for a visa meticulously.