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Vietnam seals deal with Chile for visa-free travel

By Vi Vu   August 31, 2017 | 05:15 pm GMT+7

Chile is the 24th country to be granted a visa waiver by Vietnam, the second most difficult country to enter in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam’s prime minister has signed a mutual visa exemption deal with Chile allowing people from both countries to visit the other for up to ninety days without the tiresome paperwork.

Visitors are not permitted to use their trips for money-making purposes and will need to have at least six months left on their passports, Vietnam News Agency reported on Tuesday.

Chile is the 24th country to be granted a visa waiver by Vietnam, which is the second most difficult country to enter in Southeast Asia after Myanmar. Its visa policy is also one of the toughest in Asia.

This summer, the country announced it would extend its 15-day visa exemption policy for citizens from Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Spain until the end of June 2018. It also offered visa waivers for citizens of the Czech Republic for up to 15 days.

Tourism industry groups have been urging the government to open up its visa policy to major markets such as Australia, Canada and India, as well as Eastern European countries including Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, and former Soviet states Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Vietnam received more than 10 million foreign arrivals last year, up 26 percent from the previous year. Arrivals also increased nearly 30 percent during the first eight months of this year, according to official data.

The country has set a target of welcoming 20 million foreign visitors in 2020 and developing tourism into a key economic sector.