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China-Singapore Mutual Visa Exemptions Boost Interpersonal Connections and Tourism Collaboration | Insights

By ZHAN CHEN|Feb 06,2024

Chongqing - As the Spring Festival approaches, both China and Singapore are gearing up for a mutual visa exemption arrangement commencing on February 9.

Chinese and Singaporean citizens holding ordinary passports will be allowed to enter and stay in each other's countries visa-free for up to 30 days, said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a daily press briefing on January 25.

Tourists visit the indoor artificial waterfall Rain Vortex at Singapore's Changi Airport. (Photo/Xinhua)

Promising economic prospects for Singapore and its citizens

An official from the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity Administrative Bureau (CCIB) highlighted that this policy particularly appeals to Chinese citizens visiting Singapore.

The official also noted that this advancement is expected to greatly boost the cultural and tourism sectors, thanks to enhanced flight options and additional supportive measures. 

The Consulate General of Singapore in Chengdu shared on Weibo that this will offer enhanced convenience to citizens of Singapore and China traveling for business and leisure between the two countries. This move aims to bolster interpersonal connections, foster mutual understanding, and create more promising economic prospects for Singapore and its citizens. 

The consulate also expressed eagerness for enhanced business travel, tourism activities, and exchanges between the two nations.

15 Singapore-based companies participated in the 2023 Smart China Expo (SCE) to explore the Chongqing market and look for development opportunities. (Photo/Vivian Yan)

In a previous conversation with Bridging News, Chee Su Eing, President of the Design Business Chamber Singapore (DBCS), shared her thoughts at the opening of the Chinese Operations Centre in Chongqing on January 30.

She sees the policy as a catalyst for greater collaboration, making the connection between the two countries even more effortless and seamless. "We welcome that with open arms and hearts," she remarked.

China secures visa-free agreements with 157 nations

China has expanded its strategy beyond visa exemption deals with Singapore and Thailand, now encompassing unilateral and mutual visa-free arrangements with an increasing number of nations. 

China has signed mutual visa exemption agreements with 157 countries. (Graphics/Chen Zhan)

So far, China has signed mutual visa exemption agreements with 157 countries, covering different types of passports, reached agreements or arrangements to simplify visa procedures with 44 countries, and enjoyed comprehensive mutual visa exemption with 23 countries, including Thailand, Singapore, the Maldives, and the UAE. In addition, over 60 countries and regions offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival policies to Chinese citizens.

All these measures increasingly make Chinese citizens' outbound travel easier and Chinese passports more valuable, and help foreigners travel, work, study, and live in China more conveniently, and are well received by the international community, said Wang Wenbin, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, at a daily press briefing. 

Wang underscored that improving visa policies and facilitating cross-border travel is a vital measure through which the diplomatic service contributes to China's high-quality development and high-level opening-up. This brings more opportunities for deepening friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and other countries. 


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