Taiwan to extend visa free program to Brunei, Philippines, Thailand

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan)

Taiwan announced on Thursday that starting next month, it is extending a trial visa-free entry program for nationals from Brunei, the Philippines and Thailand for another year.

The foreign ministry said the government made the decision hoping to attract more visitors from New Southbound Policy target countries for tourism and business purposes. The policy aims to strengthen economic and cultural ties with Southeast Asia, South Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

The new measure will be effective through July 31, 2019 and could be extended again if a review of the results proves successful.

According to tourism bureau statistics, nationals from New Southbound Policy partner countries made nearly 2.3 million visits to Taiwan in 2017. That was a year-on-year increase of 28 percent from 2016.