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Jakarta Post

More countries to be included on RI'€™s visa waiver recipient list: Kalla

  • Fadli

    The Jakarta Post

Batam   /   Sun, May 31, 2015   /  10:08 pm

Vice President Jusuf Kalla said on Sunday that the government would raise the number of countries whose citizens would receive visa waivers when coming to Indonesia for a vacation.

The visa waiver facilities were devised to maintain good relations between Indonesia and the recipient countries and to boost the tourist industry in Indonesia, he said.

'€œWith respect to the Riau Islands governor'€™s [Muhammad Sani] request that more countries be provided with visa-free facilities for visits to Indonesia, we have been having discussions in Cabinet meetings. Actually, there will be around 60 to 70 countries granted visa-free facilities,'€ said Kalla in his remarks during the inauguration of Lagoi Plaza in Lagoi, Bintan, Riau Islands, on Sunday.

'€œCurrently, we are waiting for a small change in a related law and then we will discuss it with the House of Representatives. The most important thing is that the country'€™s security still be guaranteed,'€ he went on.

In March, the government said it would waive visa requirements for 30 countries starting in April.

'€œWe hope the government can immediately realize its promise to give visa-free facilities to 30 countries so that tourist visits to Indonesia can increase,'€ he said.

The governor said Riau Islands ranked third on the list of provinces with the highest numbers of foreign tourists, after Bali and Jakarta, which reached 2 million people per year.

The implementation of the visa-free facilities has been hampered by legal issues; Law No.6/2011 on immigration stipulates that visa exemptions can only be made on a reciprocal basis.

The Tourism Ministry is currently proposing the elimination of the "reciprocity" clause as it may hamper the implementation of the visa-free facilities. (ebf)(+++)

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