China hopeful of visa agreement during PM`s visit

Last Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013 - 20:40

Beijing: China on Friday sounded hopeful about reaching an agreement on liberalisation of visa regime during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s visit here next week, even though India has deferred a decision on the issue.

"Relaxation of visa regime will facilitate personnel exchanges, economic and trade cooperation," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here in response to questions on the possibility of an agreement on the visa liberalisation for Chinese nationals.

"If we sign a deal we welcome the deal. The relevant authorities are in close communication. Whether the two sides can sign this agreement during Singh`s visit I cannot provide the details. We will pay close attention to the relevant work," she said.

Hua said the two sides will sign a series of bilateral cooperation agreements covering wide range of areas during Singh`s three-day visit starting from October 22.

An agreement on liberalisation of visa regime was on cards as the two countries were engaged in intense negotiations to step up economic and trade ties in the run up to the Prime Minister`s visit.

However, the Indian Cabinet yesterday deferred a decision on easing visa norms for Chinese nationals, especially those travelling for business purposes.

It is not clear whether it could happen during his visit as any agreement with foreign countries has to be approved by the Cabinet before it is inked.

The Cabinet proposal sought to liberalise the policy due to expansion in trade between the two countries and subsequent increase in visits by Chinese businessmen. These visitors belong mainly to the Information Technology and infrastructure sectors.

Hua said the two sides will sign a series of bilateral cooperation agreements covering wide range of areas during Singh`s three-day visit starting from October 22.

An agreement on liberalisation of visa regime was on cards as the two countries were engaged in intense negotiations to step up economic and trade ties in the run up to the Prime Minister`s visit.

However, the Indian Cabinet yesterday deferred a decision on easing visa norms for Chinese nationals, especially those travelling for business purposes.

It is not clear whether it could happen during his visit as any agreement with foreign countries has to be approved by the Cabinet before it is inked.

The Cabinet proposal sought to liberalise the policy due to expansion in trade between the two countries and subsequent increase in visits by Chinese businessmen. These visitors belong mainly to the Information Technology and infrastructure sectors.

PTI

First Published: Friday, October 18, 2013 - 20:40

comments powered by Disqus