PNG offers E-Visas to all APEC economies

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SYDNEY, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Papua New Guinea (PNG) has expanded its electronic visa program to include over 20 economies, the government's Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA) confirmed on Monday.

Coming off the heels of November's APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Port Moresby, the E-Visa system will now be available to all APEC members.

"Everyone involved in APEC 2018 will remember that PNG made our hosting theme 'harnessing inclusive opportunities, embracing the digital future'," Immigration and Border Security Minister Petrus Thomas told the Post Courier Newspaper.

"Since the meeting, all agencies were challenged to engage with technology and pursue digital transformation of services. In this spirit, I can announce that as of today, all APEC members including Russia will have access to an online visa to come to visit PNG without the need to visit a PNG Embassy or High Commission."

"I have also approved expansion to a range of Commonwealth member States from all over the world, including India, South Africa and Cyprus."

With the expansion opening the tropical South Pacific nation's visitor sector up to a perspective three billion people, Thomas believes the ease of travel will be a huge windfall for the nation's tourism industry.

PNG has also announced that two additional language options, the Chinese Mandarin and Indonesian Bahasa, for the country's Immigration and Citizenship Authority's website.

"Modernization through a digital future will bring considerable benefits to our country and I invite other agencies to engage with the chief migration officer and the ICA team, to work collaboratively on digital initiatives and share from our experiences as they too develop modern solutions for PNG," Thomas said. Enditem

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