The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) foreign ministers signed Tuesday an ASEAN Framework Agreement on Visa Exemption to facilitate intra ASEAN travel and boost the tourism sector, people-to-people linkages and economic development among ASEAN members.
The agreement was signed at the end of the one-day 39th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM), which was attended by foreign ministers from ASEAN's 10 member states, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The agreement exempts citizens of member countries from visa requirements for a social visit of up to 14 days from the date of entry.
However, the agreement shall not affect the implementation of existing bilateral protocols/arrangements and the respective laws and regulations on visa exemption between member countries.
Currently, except for Myanmar, Malaysia provides visa-free facility of up to one month stay for citizens of all member countries with diplomatic, official/service and ordinary passports. However, Myanmar citizens holding either Diplomatic or official passport also enjoy this visa-free facility by Malaysia.
Only Thailand and the Philippines have entered into bilateral visa arrangements pertaining to ordinary passports with Myanmar.
In the light of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Visa Exemption, Malaysia and member countries concerned are expected to negotiate bilaterally with Myanmar on the visa-free facility for social visit of up to 14 days for those holding ordinary passports.
This agreement will enter into force when instruments of ratification or approval from all ASEAN member countries have been deposited.