Thailand, Australia To Consider Mutual Visa Exemption Scheme

Thailand and Australia are exploring the idea of a mutual visa exemption scheme to streamline travel and enhance business exchanges between their citizens.

During a meeting on Wednesday, Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin discussed this idea with Australia’s Governor-General David Hurley at the Government House.

Mr. Hurley and his spouse, Linda, will be staying in Thailand until Saturday to celebrate the longstanding relationship between Thailand and Australia.

On Wednesday, both leaders participated in a ceremonial inspection of the guard of honour and exchanged gifts, signifying their mutual respect and the commencement of their discussions.

“The Thai government is committed to implementing measures to promote tourism, including enhancing safety for tourists and facilitating their travel,” Mr. Srettha said.

He also encouraged Australian visitors to explore health-focused travel options in Thailand, highlighting mutual satisfaction with the existing tourism engagement between the two countries.

To further boost trade, the Prime Minister suggested improvements to the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement and encouraged Australian investment in sectors like green energy and smart technologies.

Governor-General Hurley highlighted the upcoming ASEAN-Australia Special Summit as an excellent opportunity for Thailand to showcase investment opportunities, particularly in the southern Land Bridge megaproject.

The two nations also expressed their pleasure with ongoing military collaborations, including joint exercises and training, aiming to enhance their defense capabilities against security threats.

Governor-General Hurley, with a commendable 42-year career in the Australian military and tenure as Chief of Defence Force, later became the governor of New South Wales before his current role.

In his ceremonial capacity as the monarch’s representative in Australia, currently under King Charles III, Hurley plays a significant role, appointed on the Prime Minister’s recommendation but formally by the monarch.

During their visit, Mr. Hurley and his spouse will be honoured with a meeting with the King and Queen.

Additionally, they are set to meet the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand and tour both the Doi Tung Development Project and the site of the Mekong-Australia Partnership’s climate resilience project in Chiang Rai.