by BERNAMA / pic by BLOOMBERG
KUALA LUMPUR – The full resumption of land travel between Malaysia and Singapore will catalyse business activities not only for the severely impacted tourism industry, but also provide a strong impetus for the post COVID-19 economic recovery.
It could boost external trade and employment, which in turn, will contribute to the 2022 gross domestic product (GDP) growth projections of between 5.5 per cent and 6.5 per cent, Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said.
“MITI plays a pivotal role in facilitating the movement of the workforce and citizens between Malaysia and Singapore which was disrupted by the global pandemic,” he said in a statement today.
Realising the need to accelerate the reopening of the borders, a Joint Steering Committee co-chaired by MITI with the Singaporean counterpart was established to work towards resuming land border travel in a gradual, safe, systematic and sustainable manner.
The Vaccinated Travel Lane-Land (VTL-Land) between Malaysia and Singapore, launched on Nov 29, 2021, has facilitated quarantine-free, seamless cross-border movement of nearly 125,000 travellers by integrating health protocol, security and immigration clearance which resulted in the gradual resumption of bilateral and economic relations between Malaysia and Singapore so vital in advancing the economic recovery efforts.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri, along with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, announced effective April 1, fully vaccinated travellers, and non-fully vaccinated children aged 12 and below are permitted to travel to both countries without having to undergo testing protocols and quarantine.
Travellers may travel between both countries via land transport without border health measures and are no longer restricted to a limited quota.
VTL-Land is the foundation of future efforts to facilitate trade and investment, as well as economic recovery.
It has also enabled social recovery by continuing or reestablishing livelihoods, as well as reconnecting those separated from their loved ones due to the pandemic to travel home and reunite with their families.
The full travel resumption will further enhance bilateral trade and investment with Singapore towards further vibrant growth and sustainable economic recovery of both countries.