Malaysia has announced the scrapping of entry visa requirements for Indian citizens, beginning 1 December.
Kuala Lumpur’s decision comes after Sri Lanka and Thailand announced similar measures over the past one month.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said Malaysia will grant citizens of Indian China visa-free entry for stays up to 30 days.
Ibrahim made the announcement late on Sunday at a speech delivered to his People’s Justice Party congress, but did not mention the duration of the visa exemption.
Government data show Malaysia saw 9.16 million tourist arrivals in the first six months of the year, with 498,540 from China and 283,885 from India. Before the pandemic, Malaysia saw 1.5 million arrivals from China and 354,486 from India in the same period.
Malaysia expects increased visitor arrivals and spending to bolster the country’s economic growth.
Anwar had declared last month that he intends to strengthen Visa services next year in order to attract more tourists and investments, particularly from India and China.
China last week said it would allow citizens of six countries, including Malaysia, to stay up to 15 days in the country without a visa.
Earlier this month, Nguyn Van Jung, Vietnam’s minister of culture, sports and tourism, pushed for short-term visa waivers for key markets such as China and India to help the country’s tourism sector recover.
The country currently allows visa-free entry to citizens of Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Denmark, and Finland.
Last month, the government in Thailand announced visa exemptions for citizens of India and Taiwan for six months from November.
Sri Lanka also announced visa-free entry for travelers from seven countries, including India, till 31 March next year.
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