Chancellor George Osborne has
announced that visa applications for Chinese business and leisure travellers
heading to the UK will be simplified while on a week-long trade excursion to
The move is hoped to persuade more Chinese-based companies to invest in the UK.
It has also been announced that a Chinese construction company has invested a
20 per cent stake in a new business park adjacent to Manchester’s international
Manchester Airport Group will work with the Beijing Construction Engineering
Group (BCEG) as well as the UK’s Carillion Plc and the Greater Manchester
Pension Fund to develop the ’Airport City’ project. It is hoped that by
attracting international businesses some 16,000 jobs could be created.
Paul Simpson, MD of Visit Manchester, said: “Airport City’s widely reported
joint venture deal with China is fantastic news for the North West and will add
significantly to the growing list of USPs that make the region stand out as a
world-class business destination.
“Of course, the promise of an increased number of international business
travellers to Manchester has the potential to positively impact our conference
and meetings industry, currently worth approximately £822m per year to the city
region, and we hope to work closely with Manchester Airport Group to maximise
the opportunity,” he said.
“This announcement comes in the same week that Chinese visa rules have been
simplified, allowing easier access to the UK for Chinese travellers,” added
Simpson. “This is a subject that the tourism industry has been lobbying in
favour of for many years and we fully welcome the change and impact it may have
on visitor numbers to the city.”
Osborne says Chinese nationals visiting the European Union will no longer have
to submit a separate UK visa application if they book their travel with
selected travel agents.
At the moment Chinese visitors must apply for a separate visa if hoping to
visit the UK as well as Europe. Many argue the process deters Chinese
travellers from making the extra trip to the UK.
In February 2013 Prime
Minister David Cameron announced the UK Government would introduce a ‘same day’
business visa for Indian investors while on a trip to India.
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