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China expects Belarus' visa waiver to boost tourism

Politics 09.08.2018 | 17:53
An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 9 August (BelTA) – China believes that tourist flows will increase after Belarus waives visas for Chinese nationals, President of the China Development Institute Fan Gang told reporters on the sidelines of the seminar “Belarus-China cooperation in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative: Challenges and Solutions” on 9 August, BelTA has learned.

The growing wealth in China fuels the travel bug and enables more Chinese people to explore other countries. Every year, outbound tourism in China grows by about 20-30%. “I hope that Belarus will feature in travel plans of Chinese holidaymakers,” Fan Gang said.

In his words, the 30-day visa-free regime will be instrumental for scaling up cooperation not only in tourism, but also in education, science and technology.

Belarus Ambassador to China Kirill Rudy noted that the visa waiver between Belarus and China is meant to emphasize trust between the countries at the bilateral level and on the regional and global scale. “Trust in China on the part of Europe and post-Soviet countries, and trust in Belarus not only on the part of China, but also Asia and the entire world,” he said.

When asked by a BelTA reporter about possible increase in passenger flows between Belarus and China, the diplomat answered that visa is just one of the barriers removed. Other matters also need to be addressed, like direct flights and their cost, language barrier and travel itineraries.

As was reported earlier, the Belarus-China intergovernmental agreement on visa-free travel for holders of ordinary passports was signed in Qingdao on 10 June 2018 and will come into force on 10 August this year.

The Belarus-China seminar was organized by the Institute of Economics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus together with the China Development Institute. The participants of the seminar discussed country-specific aspects of implementing the Belt and Road Initiative in Belarus. Taking part in the event were Belarusian and Chinese scientists, government officials, diplomats, businessmen and mass media representatives.

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