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Guangdong serving overseas tourism
By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-02 22:37

A senior police officer Tuesday promised to further improve work efficiency and simplify procedures for local residents to apply for their personal passports and travel documents.

The move aims to meet the growing demand from the province's large number of residents who are eager to go abroad for business, sightseeing and visiting their relatives.

"Now, we have to quicken our examination and approval procedures to meet the growing demands," according to Luo Juan, deputy director-general of the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Security.

Luo predicted the demands will reach peak period the near future.

With the implementation of CEPA (closer economic partnership arrangement), more local individuals and private business representatives will visit the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions for more business opportunities. Likewise, more people will travel to other countries around the world for business.

"Going overseas to see relatives will also have great potential because many Guangdong residents have relatives in Hong Kong, Macao, Canada, the United States and Southeast Asia," Luo said.

Meanwhile, a growing number of local residents, who have got rich, are eager to go sightseeing in other countries in the coming years.

To this end, Guangdong has provided online and telephone appointment services to local residents to apply for their passports, travel documents and visit permits.

"Since the city of Zhongshan took the lead in the province to allow its residents to apply for personal passports according to their needs in April of 2001, Guangdong has so far granted more than 2.04 million passports to local residents.

The simplified procedure, which requires applicants to show only identity cards and household registration information, has covered the entire province since last November.

And by the end of last month, Guangdong, which allowed all its residents to visit Hong Kong and Macao individually since last May, has approved more than 7.67 million travel documents for visiting the two regions.

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