KARACHI: Chairman of Pakistan Soap Manufacturers Association (PSMA) and Former President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry Abdullah Zaki, while expressing sheer dismay over extremely cumbersome and complex process for obtaining Chinese Visa which is issued for a limited period of hardly three months, requested the Chinese Government to review its Visa Policy and grant multiple visas to the business and industrial community for a period of at least one year.
In a statement issued, Chairman PSMA said that the business communities of Pakistan and China have been enjoying excellent trade ties which can be gauged from the huge trade volume between the two friendly countries but the business community of Pakistan has been facing immense hardship due to issuance of visa for a limited period of just three months which has to be enhanced to at least one year. “Secondly, the cumbersome and complex procedures for obtaining Chinese visa also has to be simplified which, if done, would certainly take the existing trade volume to record-breaking new heights”, he added.
He pointed out that Pakistan’s Embassy in China has been issuing visas to Chinese business community for a period of one year and even more without creating any trouble but this was not being reciprocated by the Chinese Consulates as the Pakistani businessmen, who are intending to meet their counterparts in China to explore trade and investment opportunities, have to go through extremely cumbersome, complex and time-taking procedures to get a visa which is valid for just three months.
Abdullah Zaki pointed out that the game-changer project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has opened infinite avenues of economic cooperation and trade enhancement between the two countries but the business and industrial communities of both countries will only be able to benefit from the situation when they are fully facilitated. Therefore, the authorities in China must realize the significance and pave way for closer interaction and cooperation between the business communities of Pakistan and China by easing the visa issuance process and extending visa duration to one year.
Keeping in view the close relations between the two countries, Abdullah Zaki hoped that the Chinese government will pay attention to his humble request and accordingly issue directives to its Consulates in Pakistan for timely issuance of visas to Pakistani businessmen and industrialist which should be valid for at least one year.