NZ Govt aims to speed up Thai visas
Friday 22 Mar 2013 4:20 p.m.
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra inspects the Royal New Zealand Navy band at Government House, in Auckland, on her first official trip to New Zealand. (Photo: Simon Wong/3 News)
The New Zealand Government has expressed a willingness to speed up visa processing for Thai citizens visiting the country for business, study and pleasure.
Prime Minister John Key made the announcement at a joint press conference with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra this afternoon, but added this was a long-term plan.
“It’s not going to be immediate.”
Ms Shinawatra was welcomed to New Zealand on her first official visit to New Zealand.
Speaking at Government House in Auckland this afternoon, Ms Shinawatra said it was important to speed up the visa process because of growing numbers of Thai students choosing to study in New Zealand.
Mr Key said up to 3000 Thai students travel to New Zealand to study at secondary and tertiary levels each year.
The two governments also signed agreements to work closer on education, science, technology and innovation.
Both prime ministers also committed to doubling trade between the two countries by 2020, though Mr Key and Ms Shinawatra were hopeful the target could be reached earlier.
Ms Shinawatra will return to Thailand on Sunday.