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Vietnam officially joins APEC Business Travel Card

Businesspeople from a number of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies will be granted easier access to enter Vietnam as the country has officially joined the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) programme.

A document to this effect was signed by Bui Dinh Dinh, Head of the Consular Department under the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry in Gyeongju, the Republic of Korea, on September 9, 2005.

Under the programme, ABTC holders will be able to be exempted from visa and resident registration procedures. They can use express immigration lanes at airports, come in and out of ABTC members and stay for at least 60 days each visit.

Using ATBC, Vietnamese businesses can make business journeys to other ABTC participating economies and vice versa, businesses from ABTC members will be provided with favourable conditions when entering and staying in Vietnam.

The Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam is to grant ABTC to business people in 2006 as the country will play the host of the 2006 APEC.

The ABTC was initiated by Australia in 1996 and has been applied in three founding member countries - namely Australia, the RoK and the Philippines - since 1997. So far, 17 APEC member economies have joined the ABTC programme, including Australia, Brunei, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the RoK, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

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