China tightening visa rules, say businessmen

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KARACHI: A growing number of Chinese nationals are coming to Pakistan in the wake of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

According to reported figures, 71,000 Chinese nationals visited Pakistan in 2016, and 27,596 visa extensions were granted in that year, up by 41 per cent from a year earlier.

But a rising number of people in the business community of Pakistan are now saying that visas for China are becoming increasingly difficult to get. Moreover, even when they are granted, the validity period is seldom more than three months, and they are for single entry only.

Pakistan Soap Manufact­urers Association (PSMA) Chairman Abdullah Zaki said the Chinese government should review its policy and grant multiple-entry visas to members of the business community, with a validity period of at least one year.

“Secondly, cumbersome and complex procedures for obtaining a Chinese visa have to be simplified. This will certainly take the existing bilateral trade volume to record-breaking new heights,” he added.

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