Statement by H.E. Mr. Saleumxay KOMMASITH, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR, at the Official Launching Ceremony of the Lao electronic Visa Service
- His Excellency Sonexay SIPHANDONE, Deputy Prime Minister of the Lao PDR,
- Deputy Ministers,
- Diplomatic Corps and Representatives of the International Organizations to the Lao PDR,
- Distinguish guests and all media.
I would like to begin by expressing my sincere thanks to His Excellency Sonexay SIPHANDONE, Deputy Prime Minister of the Lao PDR, the guest of honor fortoday official launching of the Lao eVisa Service event andalso to thanks all distinguished guests for your value time to attend this ceremony.
In line with the Lao PDR’s policy to broadening cooperation with external relations, more effectiveness as such making facilitatesentry to Laos faster and modernity. Thus, the Lao government has provided a measure to facilitate as well as the policy implementation on Visa services. Recently, the Lao PDR had unilateral and bilateral visa exemption agreement with 46 countries in the world. Together with, we have visa service for a foreigner who wants to travel to Laos through the Embassies, Consulate General and Consular Office of the Lao PDR abroad as well as another Visa unit at 21 the checking points around the country. Even though the ability of visa service is limited, due to the representative missions of the Lao PDR are also limited, because of that reason applying for visa to Laos takes time and adding additional cost to it.
Therefore, to improve and increase the ease of service visas to Laos to foreigners as well as implementing the policies of the Government in order to turn the State administration step by step to a better, modernize, efficiently, promptly and transparently, the Lao Government has decided to develop a new online visa system as a new form of choice for foreigners, with the aim of promoting cooperation in various fields, to make it possible for more and more people to come to Laos from abroad. The system will be used in conjunction with the current system.
According to the government's decision to upgrade the visa system to the modern level, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which plays a central role in the consular affairs, has joined with the relevant sectors to undertake necessary steps in accordance with rules and regulations, focusing on system design and procurement of companies for development of the visa system. By the end of 2018, the system was initially developed by Lao Gateway Co., Ltd., which has been selected by the Government of Laos. To date, the entire system has been fully completed and will start service starting today and is under the supervision of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Public Security.
Lao Gateway Company Limited is a Lao Company with numerous experience and expertise in ICT which has had a lot of success. For the eVisa system, the design is simple, easy to use, fast and safe for user. The Lao government has approved 7 checking points in order to facilitate foreigner who has granted the eVisa to entry the Lao PDR namely Wattay International Airport, Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge 1, Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge 2, Lao-Thai Friendship 4, Luangphabang International Airport, Pakse International Airport, and Borten Checking Point. In the first part, we will open the eVisa service in 2 checking points namely Wattay International Airport and Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge 1, and they will continue to expand the system to the remains checking points until all 7 checking points are complete. In the second part, based on actual conditions and necessity in the future, we will consider and requestingapproval from the government to continue to develop the eVisa system in other checking points around the country.
I hope that this implementation of eVisa will support the relations and expands cooperationbetween Government as well as organization of Laos with other countries that doesn’t have Visa-Exemption Agreement,especially in the field of tourism, which is the main contribution to the socio-economic development of the Lao PDR in present and the coming future.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to His Excellencies / all high-ranking who have provided close guidance and also the leadership and to all relevant sectors for your kind support and cooperation to implement this project. Moreover, I would like to express my congratulation to Lao Gateway Company Limited for your hardwork in developing the eVisa system withresponsibility, which can be completed and opened for service as planned.
However, even though the system has been developed for the convenience and modernity, if without a broad and extend publicity, the project will not meet the intended purpose and will be a loss of the government budget. Therefore, in addition to the public outreach of the Government of Laos,I also would like to call on the Diplomatic Corps and representative fromInternational Organizations operating in the Lao PDRattendingtoday event to provide information about this online visa service to the people in your country and at the same time, it is hoped that the media will help publicize in a variety of ways so that information is widely spread abroad.
Finally, I would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to His Excellency Sonexay SIPHANDONE, Deputy Prime Minister, who presides over today's ceremonies and may You be bless with good health and prosper in Your noble and honorable task.
May I wish all Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Diplomats and Representatives of the International Organizations to the Lao PDR present here today, good health and prosper in their honorable duties.