Datuk R. Ramanan
Having to go through a long immigration clearance process just for visitor passes approval could be bothersome. While it’s unquestionable that such protocol is daunting, the visa application process is very important to make sure everybody’s safe passage. Nonetheless, it is not uncommon for similar procedures to affect business relations. Fortunately, a powerful solution, the Asia Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) Business Travel Card was introduced to smoothen the process.
Owners of businesses are able to request for the APEC Business Travel Card to obtain more flexibility while traveling. This is attained through mutual partnership between nations with the aim of opening investment opportunities and encouraging free trade. With APEC Business Card, the holders short-term entry can certainly be pre-cleared into countries to do business. This program enables the card owners to evade excessive rules and formalities.
Individuals who own the Card could skip the visa application and entry permit under personal travel application process, and they also will have the option to use the multi-entry passes to take the special APEC lanes upon arrival at the participating nations.
Giving his full support, Datuk R. Ramanan had also complimented the Immigration Department for their effort and hard work in realizing such a shrewd solution that can contribute to the national economic advancement and expansion.
According to Datuk R. Ramanan, he condones the APEC Business Travel Card initiative given that it increased the opportunities for Malaysian companies to go to other international markets within the region. Now, businesses can reap the rewards, and it’s all possible because of the massive commitment shown by the officers to visit the member countries to nurture good relationship and ultimately bring ease that could be enjoyed by Malaysians.
At the moment, Malaysia, Chile, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, New Zealand, Singapore, Russia, Australia, China, Philippines, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Brunei Darussalam, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, and Hong Kong and are amongst the participants of the APEC scheme. Additionally, the scheme is as well participated by Canada and United states as transitional members.
As some foreign countries impose bureaucratic administration over diplomatic relations, the effects have been completely huge for Malaysia.One of the countries, China, strictly required applications for entry, be it a business-related re-entries or simply a social pass, to be applied upfront.
In accordance with a study performed by the APEC Policy Support Unit, the APEC Business Travel Card assists to cut back transactional cost for its holders for up to 38%. This finding shows that the initiative works both saves time and actual cost invested in travelling. Based on estimation, the cummulative time saved for the APEC Business Travel Card holders between March 2010 to July 2011 is 62,413 hours, which in monetary form, is valued at USD1.9 million.
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