China announces new measures to facilitate opening up and international exchanges



The National Immigration Administration of China (NIA) revealed on Sunday a series of new measures to provide more convenience for entry and exit management in the country, including streamlining document processing and application, extending the duration of business stays, and meeting various needs, which observers said represent the country's intensified efforts in promoting high-level openness and facilitating international exchange.


The new measures, which add to a list of policies promoting integration in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA), will facilitate business, talent, and technological know-how exchange between mainland China and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, according to observers.


As the linkage intensifies, the scope of interaction between mainland China and the two regions is poised to become "deeper and broader."


This also portends more business opportunities - building on Hong Kong's role as a "super connector between mainland China and the world" as well as Macau's unique position as a free trade port.


The move is expected to inject new vitality into the development of the two regions, boost economies, and thus lead to their long-term prosperity and stability, analysts said.


According to the new policies, which will take effect on May 6, residents aged 16 and over (except for public servants and active-duty military personnel) in 20 pilot cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, will be able to renew and apply for reissue of their passports, as well as travel documents for the regions of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, through an online platform.


Mainland China residents applying for multiple entries into Hong Kong and Macau for business purposes will be able to use smart devices to obtain a fast-track endorsement.


Additionally, the stay period for commercial visa holders in Hong Kong and Macau will be extended from seven to 14 days.


Specific policies have also been established for high-level talents and certain key groups, among other policies, to bolster outbound tourism to the two SARs.


Beijing and Shanghai will be included in the policy of issuing one-to-five-year validity multiple-entry endorsements for six designated talent categories traveling to Hong Kong and Macau, with a stay duration of less than 30 days for each trip.


The agreement was initially applicable only to mainland residents in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.


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