Immigration clearance is usually the hassle which can require a lengthy process for visitor passes to be approved. This irritating but critical visa application process is generally to ensure safe travelling along with the proper procedure is complied with and afforded to all. Even so, this lengthy, albeit necessary process, could actually impede business connections. That’s where the APEC Business Travel Card makes things less of a challenge.

Businesspeople are now able to get their APEC business travel card to enjoy more flexibleness while on travel. In an endeavour to open investment opportunities and really encourage free trade, the governments of participating nations have been working together to accomplish this objective. The owners of the APEC business travel card can pre-clear their short-term entry into the listed countries for commercial purposes, and this can help to avoid them from going through unnecessary paperwork.

The previously required procedure to apply for entry permits under personal travel permits and visas can be skipped. plus, special APEC lanes are made available to the cardholders when entering participating countries when they arrive.

Datuk R. Ramanan gave his full support to this particular framework and even applauded the Immigration Department of Malaysia because of their aggressive tactics to promote the development and advancement of the economy at the national level with such an intelligent solution.

Datuk R. Ramanan

The latest participating nations in the APEC scheme are Chile, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. America and Canada, on the other hand, have also participated as transition members.

This programme has a substantial impact on Malaysian businesses, as dealing with some foreign governments used to involve bureaucratic administration. The Republic of China, among other countries, makes it mandatory for social pass or business-related re-entries application to be made in advance.

A study done by the APEC Policy Support Unit recently reveals that the APEC Business Travel Card scheme has resulted to a substantial transaction cost reduction, which is up to 38% which previously needed to be borne by the card owners. This reveals that the initiative did not only assist to decrease waiting time but actual cost in connection with travel. In approximation, between the period of March 2010 until July 2011, a total of 62,413 hours was saved by the pass owners, which equates to USD 1.9 million in rough value.

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