VN should allow visa exemption to all European countries: EuroCham

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023 09:40

Foreign visitors at Noi Bai International Airport. — VNA/VNS Photo

Expand the list of visa-exempt countries to all EU countries and extend the visa exemption period from 15 to 30 days are among recommendations outlined in the European Chamber of Commerce in Viet Nam’s 2023 Whitebook.

Recommendations related to entry visa policies also include extending the period of the announced visa exemptions and new exemptions to five years.

Creating a three-month tourist visa for Europeans who wish to make long-stay holidays to attract the wealthy senior market and providing short-stay visa exemption in certain situations, in particular in support of forums, exhibitions, and sporting events, are recommendations that are highlighted in the EuroCham’s annual publication.

“Viet Nam has been successful in attracting visitors from China and South Korea, however, this may create dependence on these markets,” a representative from the Tourism & Hospitality Sector Committee said at the WhiteBook launch event on February 16.

“We suggest that the Government should put more focus on European markets to reduce the stress and stretch of resources by allowing visa exemption to all European countries,” the representative said. “On the other hand, we suggest that the Vietnamese Government consider having three-month or six-month visa exemptions targeting high-income Europeans wishing to spend long holidays in Viet Nam.”

EuroCham has reported to the Government that tourist travel behaviour has changed as a side effect of the pandemic: they travel less frequently but spend time longer at a destination.

EuroCham suggested the Viet Nam Administration of Tourism set up overseas offices in European countries to act as a coordinator and go-to point for stakeholders in such countries to effectively communicate Viet Nam’s success and important developments.

Jean-Jacques Bouflet, vice chairman of EuroCham, said, “In light of the difficult economic conditions of 2022 and forecasts that predict continued challenges in 2023, it is imperative that we take decisive action to address the issues affecting the business climate in Viet Nam.”

One of the biggest concerns is the complex and unpredictable process of obtaining work visas for foreign experts, he said.

Currently, foreign experts face numerous obstacles and need to get approval from various levels of authority to work in the country. The process is often intimidating, frustrating, and unpredictable.

“If this process is simplified and made more transparent, foreign experts and investors will find Viet Nam a much more attractive destination,” he added.

The Whitebook’s defining characteristic is that it includes contributions from EuroCham’s 18 sector committees.

It serves as a comprehensive guide to the regulatory landscape faced by European businesses in Viet Nam.

With a focus on practical solutions, the Whitebook presents policy recommendations aimed at resolving regulatory hurdles and facilitating the growth of the country's economy. — VNS

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