China relaxes visa rules in bid to boost ailing economy

By AFP   August 4, 2023 | 08:07 pm PT
China relaxes visa rules in bid to boost ailing economy
Travelers wait with their luggage at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China December 27, 2022. Photo by Reuters
China will allow some foreigners to obtain visas on arrival and rural residents to settle more easily in cities as part of a series of measures aimed at boosting its flagging economy.

The relaxations aim to "promote the free movement" of "people, vehicles, information and data", an official from the Ministry of Public Security said Thursday.

China’s post-Covid recovery has run out of steam in recent months, dragged down by sluggish consumption and a real estate sector in crisis.

GDP growth increased by just 0.8% from the first to second quarter of the year, and youth unemployment has reached record highs at over 20%.

In response, the ministry announced 26 new measures on Thursday, including a new visa policy for foreign businesspeople.

Those who come to China to participate in trade negotiations, expos, conferences or to invest will be able to obtain visas on arrival, provided they present the necessary documents.

Previously, travelers had to apply for a visa at a Chinese embassy or consulate in their country of departure.

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