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HK, Macao welcome new rules for business travelers

By Wang Zhan and William Xu in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-30 09:19
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Vehicles travel on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Hong Kong and Macao special administrative region governments have welcomed the central authorities' decision to further facilitate the entry of business travelers and professionals from the Chinese mainland, saying that the move will enable the two cities to have more frequent exchanges with the rest of the country.

On Sunday, the National Immigration Administration issued a package of updates to entry and exit regulations to facilitate residents' trips outside the mainland. The changes will take effect on Monday.

Among the measures, the period of stay for mainland residents who hold business endorsements for Hong Kong and Macao will be doubled to 14 days, a move that is expected to benefit over 100 million businesses across the country, the administration said.

Mainland residents will be able to file their applications for business endorsements at any immigration service counter on the mainland with the assistance of smart equipment, which will be able to issue multi-entry endorsements on the spot.

The talent endorsement, initially implemented for residents of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in February last year, will be extended to include residents of Beijing and Shanghai from Monday. The move will cover six categories of professionals — outstanding, scientific research, cultural and educational, health, legal and management. Successful applicants will be issued endorsements that will be valid for from one to five years, depending on their circumstances.

A new type of multi-entry endorsement will help mainland residents travel to Macao for exhibitions, medical treatment and performing arts activities. If seeking medical services, residents can include one to two companions in a single application for the same endorsement.

Mainland tour groups traveling to Hengqin and Macao will be free to enter Macao via Hengqin Port without restrictions on the number of entries in seven days.

The Hong Kong SAR government said on Sunday the measures will greatly enhance convenience for mainland businesspeople and traders who travel to Hong Kong for business activities and promote their exchanges with the business community in Hong Kong.

"The new measures will facilitate Hong Kong's further integration into national development and achieve concrete results on the solid policy foundation of facilitating the 'southbound and northbound' two-way flow of talent," it said.

The Macao SAR government said the updated rules meet diverse tourism needs and will further promote the coordinated development of talent in Beijing, Shanghai and the Bay Area.

The measures are expected to inject new impetus into the development of the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, and promote Macao's economic diversification, it said.

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