The National Assembly’s decision last week to extend visas for US citizens to one year has been welcomed by businesspeople and analysts who say it will boost bilateral trade and tourism.
Patrick McNeal, general director of ONP, a US wood products exporting company, told Vietnam News, “It is a wise move.”
“If Vietnam wants to increase foreign investment, it must make it easy for investors to come to Vietnam to do business.
“If a person already has a one-year visa, making a trip can be as simple as buying an airline ticket. If a person must apply for a visa before making a trip, there might not be enough time to arrange for the trip before the opportunity disappears.
“Having to deal with the uncertainties of how long it will take to get a visa makes fitting a trip into a tight schedule very difficult.”
Nguyen Viet Ha, managing director of BowerGroup Asia was quoted as saying by Dau Tu (Vietnam Investment Review) newspaper that the change would help Vietnam attract more investors and tourists from the US.
She said that the biggest obstacle to US investment in Vietnam used to be getting a visa, which was valid for only three months and could not be extended.
Legislators unanimously agreed that the extension was necessary and would play a key role in boosting economic relations between the two countries.
Nguyen Mai, former deputy chairman of the National Committee for Co-operation and Investment, said if the visa situation was thought to be an obstacle, it was reasonable to amend it.
The extension would surely enhance trade, investment and tourism between the two countries, he said.