Datuk R Ramanan
The procedure of granting visitor passes and immigration clearance had commonly been known for its lengthy and complex protocol. This type of issue to make visa application was previously inescapable in order to maintain proper procedure and ensure safe passage for everybody. Sadly, this rather long process caused a negative impact on business interaction. After years of examining the potential solutions, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card was finally revealed.
The APEC Business Travel Card is made for entrepreneurs to allow them some degree of convenience while travelling. Participating countries have worked closer together in making this project possible with the mutual aim to establish a network for investment opportunities and stimulate free trade among its participating nations. The APEC Business Travel Card enables people who run businesses to get their short-term entry cleared upfront as they visit participating nations. Thus, excessive regulations that slows down the procedure may very well be avoided.
The previously required procedure to obtain entry permits under personal travel permits and visas can be skipped. Additionally, special APEC lanes are made available to the card holders when entering participating countries upon arrival.
Datuk R. Ramanan
had fully endorsed the initiative and praised the Malaysia Immigration Department with regard to their effectiveness and determination to embrace this type of feasible solution that promotes an accelerated growth and expansion of the national economy.
Datuk Raman encouraged this initiative byasserting that the APEC business travel card has cleared the way for local enterprises to test the foreign markets with less restrictions. Businesses can take advantage of this advantage as a result from great effort by the government officers who took the effort and visit other countries to strengthen diplomatic relationship that benefits us all.
The current participating governments 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, additionally, have also participated as transitional members.
The program had a significant impact for Malaysia, since for some countries, more bureaucratic administration is required. China, as an illustration, enforces the obligation to apply for a permit to entry in advance regardless of whether it is a business-related re-entries or social pass.
Recently, a report conducted by the APEC Policy Support Unit has shown that the APEC Business Travel Card initiative helps card holders to reduce their transaction cost about 38%. This means that the scheme does not only aid in reducing waiting time, but additionally real travelling cost. Between March 2010 to July 2011 alone, experts agree it is estimated that a total of 62,413 hours was saved by the card holders, which translated into USD1.9 million.