Overseas business groups hail China’s streamlined cross-border travel arrangements

A charter flight carrying 107 Indian businessmen arrived in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province, Aug 9, 2022. Photo: Courtesy China Southern Airlines

Representatives of foreign companies and industry groups have welcomed a streamlined cross-border travel process for personnel exchanges as the Chinese government has stepped up efforts to facilitate entry into China for businessmen and students.

Although there is still time before a full easing takes place, due to sporadic cases in parts of China, the situation has largely improved as the fight against the epidemic enters a new phase. , which is reflected in shortened quarantine periods for international travelers, simplified visa applications and more direct flights.

Meanwhile, foreign businessmen expect business potential to be fully unleashed as travel restrictions are eased, the Global Times has learned.

The General Administration of Customs on Thursday announced the launch of the 9th edition of the entry and exit health declaration form, in which the declaration requirements for information on nucleic acid tests, previous infection status and vaccination dates for entry and exit personnel have been cancelled.

This came just a day after the State Council, China’s cabinet, held an executive meeting to implement 19 additional policies to stabilize the economy, in which the facilitation of entry and exit company personnel was highlighted, a message that received positive feedback from representatives of foreign companies.

The British Chamber of Commerce (China) welcomed the announcement and the trend of a gradual easing for international business travellers, pending more concrete details.

“There is no doubt that we are seeing more international business travel to and from China this year compared to the previous two years… the resumption of direct flights two weeks ago, the reduction in quarantine time , further relaxation of visa policies and pre-travel documentation requirements which were announced earlier this year have increased the willingness of commercial staff in our member firms to travel overseas,” the UK Chamber said. .

The Chinese government issued recently updated COVID-19 control protocols on June 28, stipulating that close contacts and incoming travelers should be under medical observation in isolation at designated sites for seven days plus three days of health monitoring. home health, a clear reduction from 14 days of medical observation and seven days of health monitoring under the previous edition.

The British chamber said that “increased international business travel within and outside China would facilitate people-to-people exchanges and information sharing across borders, enabling international companies to better provide products and services to their customers and to improve understanding of the Chinese market.”

Juha Tuominen, chairman of Finncham Beijing, welcomed the move to ease international travel, saying “the further easing of barriers to entry and the reduction of mandatory quarantine time to enter the Chinese mainland will definitely be something which Finnish companies will welcome”.

The easing of business travel will have a positive impact on the investment activities of foreign companies, Tuominen said.

Chinese governments have stepped up measures to help foreign companies in China resume operations and production amid the country’s promise of reopening while battling sporadic outbreaks.

On July 30, a chartered flight carrying 163 Pakistani businessmen landed in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, before heading to Yiwu, a commodity hub, to seek new opportunities and partnerships while passing orders. Similar trips have also been organized for businessmen from countries like South Korea, media reported.

In addition, to facilitate application processes for foreign businessmen and students traveling to China, holders of valid APEC business travel cards and foreign students with valid study and residence permits can now enter China without having to apply for a new visa. The policy went into effect on Wednesday.

The policy will allow APEC cardholders and students to enter China using their existing visas, which is indeed a huge step forward, Ong Tze Guan, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Thursday. from Singapore to China.

Allowing APEC cardholders to enter China without applying for a visa will help, but the percentage of people holding APEC cards is not so high, Guan said, noting that APEC cardholders are mainly those with companies in China, and most of the population. who are to come to China have often already obtained work visas.

Announcement that China is seeking to ease border entry requirements for APEC business travel card holders is positive for those from APEC countries, Chamber of Commerce says of the EU in China (EUCCC) to the Global Times.

The China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) told the Global Times on Thursday that British business people want to be able to visit China to review business partners and advance their investment plans.

“Measures such as the re-establishment of direct scheduled flights between China and the UK and the removal of the letter PU as a condition for obtaining a visa to come to China have undoubtedly boosted market confidence among British companies with interests in China,” CBBC said. .

The proposal to further ease travel restrictions will be seen positively and boost the confidence of Chinese businesses, Guan said.

China’s market attractiveness for foreign capital remains resilient, with actual use of foreign capital up 17.3 percent year-on-year from January to July, the commerce ministry said.

The overall advantages of China’s comprehensive industrial system, market size and positive economic fundamentals have created a good foundation for the development of foreign-funded enterprises in China, Commerce Ministry spokesperson Shu Jueting said Thursday. .

In addition, China has formulated policies and measures to stabilize foreign investment and has actively responded to requests from foreign-funded enterprises to facilitate business operations in China, which has boosted the sense of gain for enterprises, said. Mr Shu.


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