Businesspeople from a number of APEC Member Economies will be granted easier access to enter Viet Nam following the decision by Viet Nam to join the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) program.
From next year, business travelers who hold an APEC Business Travel Card will be able to use express immigration lanes at airports and stay for at least 60 days in Viet Nam without having to apply for a visa.
The announcement was made today by the Government of Viet Nam following discussions with APEC Trade Ministers at their meeting in Jeju, Korea, in June.
The ABTC program has been in operation since 1997 and now includes 17 APEC Member Economies.
H.E. Mr. Nguyen Dy Nien, Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs, said "Joining the ABTC program will serve as a boost for regional business by making travel easier for Vietnamese and other APEC businesspeople."
"Viet Nam?s participation in the ABTC Program is a testimony of our commitment to creating favourable conditions for business in Viet Nam in the context of an early accession to the WTO. It is also a positive step forward as Viet Nam prepares to host APEC in 2006."
The APEC Region accounts for around half of the world?s trade and is the engine of global business growth. Therefore it makes a great deal of sense for business people to be able to move freely between participating economies with the use of the APEC Business Travel Card.
The 17 participating Members of the APEC Business Travel Card Program are: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Korea; Malaysia; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Philippines; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; and Viet Nam.
APEC Business Travel Cards are issued by the governments of participating economies and the program is overseen by the APEC Informal Experts' Group on Business Mobility.
Businesspeople need only submit a single application in their home economy for the APEC Business Travel Card, that once granted, allows for multiple entries to all participating economies.
All holders of an ABTC are able to use express immigration counters at participating Member Economies and lengths of stay vary between 60 and 90 days depending on the individual economy.
Once issued the cards remain current for three years before they have to be renewed.
Additional details on the APEC Business Travel Card are available at: www.businessmobility.org