Taiwan to evaluate results of visa-free treatment for 3 Asian nations

Taipei, Taiwan will hold an inter-ministerial meeting next week to evaluate the results of its trial period of visa-free privileges to three Southeast Asian nations and will decide whether to continue the preferential treatment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Wednesday.

MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (???) said the meeting will assess the effect on Taiwan's economic, tourism and social development, and on social order, resulting from the visa-free trial period for the Philippines, Thailand and Brunei, which will expire on July 31.

The meeting will also try to determine whether any possible negative effects on the various sectors are under control, Lee said.

Taiwan introduced visa-free treatment for Thai and Bruneian citizens on a trial basis in August, 2016 and extended it last year to July 31, 2018.

The visa-free trial program for the Philippines began on Nov. 1 last year and will also run through July 31.

According to statistics from Taiwan's Tourism Bureau, the number of Philippine visitors to Taiwan increased from 172,475 in 2016 to 290,784 last year, while arrivals from Thailand soared from 195,640 to 292,534 over the same period.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel