Singapore and China to introduce a 30 day visa-free entry by 2024

In a significant development, Singapore and China are set to launch a mutual visa waiver valid for thirty days beginning next year

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FILE PHOTO: Travellers walk with their suitcases at Beijing Daxing International Airport in Beijing, China April 24, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File photo

As per Singapore‘s foreign ministry’s statement, the two countries shall work hand in hand to finish the drafting of this visa waiver that is expected to take effect within the early months of 2024.

During the 19th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) held at Tianjin, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and finance minister, Lawrence Wong noted rising numbers of business trips and almost restored regular flights between two states. Wong said that this would lay foundations for such process through the recently imposed 30-day mutual visa exemptions.

He also stated that, competent authorities of the two nations were frequently consulted on particular aspects, while looking forward for speedy enactment of measures.

“The 30-day mutual visa exemption arrangement between our two countries will also support such progress, which can promote more personnel exchanges and strengthen the cornerstone of bilateral relations,” the paper quoted him as saying.

China had earlier granted 15-day visa-free entry to Singaporean citizens, but it had not been possible since the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020. Such an understanding was highlighted early in May when the Chinese were desirous of equal sharing.

The new CSFTA Protocol also gives tremendous benefits to Singapore. It provides enhanced access to China’s service sector markets. For instance, China is lifting equity restrictions on Singapore investors in 22 sectors such as construction, retail and wholesale, architectural, and urban planning services.

In another partnership, Singapore’s monetary authority (MAS) announced in May 2022 its plans to launch a pilot project on payments made using China’s e-CNY through traveler’s phones. The organisation seeks to adopt new ways in which they can utilise digital currencies as it is part of a wider trend around the world.

This implies that the reciprocal 30-day visa exemption and enhanced trade agreement that have taken place, will make Singapore–China relation stronger with more collaboration and trade being established.

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