Some 500 Brunei CI holders travelled to Vietnam

National 1 minute, 36 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

ABOUT 500 Brunei Certificate of Identity (CI) holders travelled to Vietnam since the Southeast Asian nation revised its immigration laws in January last year, its embassy here said.

Huynh Quang Ngoc, a consular officer at the Vietnam Embassy, yesterday said most Brunei CI holders visited Vietnam for tourism or sought investment opportunities.

“It is expected that Vietnam will be an increasingly popular choice of destination for Bruneians in the future, including the CI holders,” the embassy said in a statement.

Previously, holders of Brunei CI – a travel document issued for Brunei-born permanent residents who are stateless or have no citizenship – could not obtain Vietnam visas.

This lasted for about three years when applications were suspended in 2011.

However, Bruneian citizens can travel to Vietnam without a visa.

The embassy said the flight from Bandar Seri Begawan to Ho Chi Minh City is two hours and 30 minutes by Royal Brunei Airlines, a convenient way to reach Vietnam.

It was previously reported that Vietnam hoped more Bruneians will visit the country and vice versa to boost tourism and investments, following the national carrier’s decision to operate four direct flights a week to Ho Chi Minh City in October 2014.

Data from ASEAN stated that Vietnam attracted about eight million international tourist arrivals as of January 2015.

“The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will further encourage Bruneians to visit Vietnam to seek for investment opportunity,” the embassy added.

Following the launch of the AEC on December 31 last year, the 10 ASEAN member states have achieved its regional economic integration agenda, offering opportunities in the form of a huge market of US$2.6 trillion and over 622 million people.

In 2014, AEC was collectively the third largest economy in Asia and the seventh largest in the world, said the ASEAN official website.

Through AEC, the regional grouping is expected to see greater trade among its member states as most tariffs and barriers have been eliminated.

The Brunei Times