Thailand, Myanmar sign visa-free travel agreement

Thailand and Myanmar have signed an agreement to allow citizens with ordinary passports to make visa-free visits of up to 14 days, the Bangkok Post reported last week.

It said the agreement was signed by Foreign Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn and his Myanmar counterpart, U Wunna Maung Lwin, at a meeting of the Thai-Myanmar Joint Commission in Chiang Mai on July 28.

The agreement, which applies to citizens of each country who enter through international airports, will take effect on August 11, said a statement released after the meeting that gave no further details, the newspaper said.

It quoted Gen Tanasak as saying before the meeting that the agreement is aimed at boosting tourism, trade and other ties between the two countries.

The two countries also pledged at the meeting to boost trade to US$12 billion by 2017 and to promote border trade, the daily said.

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Thai Commerce Ministry gures show bilateral trade was worth $8.15 billion last year, it said.

The signing of the agreement came a day before Myanmar opened a consulate in Chiang Mai at a ceremony attended by the two ministers.

The move is a step towards free movement of people and goods in the soon to be established Asean Economic Community.

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