By: Sophia Yeh and Elizabeth Hsu
Taipei, May 27 (CNA) The New Southbound Policy Office under the Presidential Office will begin its
mission of expanding the Southeast Asian market with a plan aimed at boosting visits by Southeast Asian tourists to Taiwan through visa-free privileges, the head of the office said Friday.
The office will coordinate the relevant authorities to promote the policy initiated by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), said James Huang (黃志芳) in a radio interview. The first stage will be opening Taiwan’s doors wider to middle-class tourists from Southeast Asia, he said.
“In the short term, (we) will first promote tourism and visa exemptions,” he revealed.
This will be similar to what Japan has done over the past few years by offering visitors from Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, preferential visa-free treatment, he said.
Taiwan must not block “middle-class tourists who have strong purchasing power and affluent people” from these countries only because it has to handle relations with foreign workers and new immigrants, he contended. [FULL STORY]