Nov 26, 2010

Taiwan: President Welcomes EU Visa Exemption

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou on Thursday welcomed the European Union's decision to waive visa requirements for Taiwanese nationals, calling it a diplomatic victory for Taipei.


Below is an article published by Asia-Pacific News:


'This is an important chapter in Taiwan's diplomacy. It shows that Taiwan has won recognition from the world,' Ma told an election rally.

'On the surface, it saves us money ... On a deeper level, it means our country and our people are respected,' he said.

The measure - expected to take effect around mid-January - was given final approval by EU ministers meeting in Brussels on Thursday, following a positive vote by the European Parliament on November 11.

EU Home Affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom welcomed the news.

'I am sure that the full reciprocal visa waiver will give a boost to the already good relationship between Taiwan and the EU in various sector, such as tourism or trade,' she said in a statement.

Visitors to EU from Taiwan are expected to increase by 30 per cent as a result of the visa-scrapping, the commission calculated.

The travel concession is valid for stays of up to 90 days in all EU states except Britain and Ireland, plus Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, which are members of the bloc's Schengen border-free zone.

The EU had already extended similar visa waivers to citizens from Singapore, Japan and South Korea.