The Canadian business community has pushed Ottawa to launch free-trade talks with Beijing. Instead, China agreed to provide 10-year multiple-entry visas to Canadian travelers crossing the Pacific for business, tourism or family purposes.
Last week In trade minister Ed Fast said the change will “reduce costs, cut red tape” and make life easier for Canadian companies.
The arrangement was first announced in Beijing by China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, who said the agreement would have the countries “issuing visas to each other’s citizens with the validity period of up to 10 years.” However, Canada has been providing 10-year visas to Chinese citizens as early as 2012. In November of 2014, China and the United States also reached a mutual 10-year visa arrangement.
Up until now, Canadian business travelers were typically given a single-entry visa for the first visit, and then multiple-entry visas with increasingly long periods of time on subsequent occasions. The visas were primarily an inconvenience.
The primary push from the business community, however, is for Ottawa to make progress on a free-trade agreement with China, which it has resisted amid broader concerns among Canadians over giving Chinese companies legally-binding rights in their trade with Canada.
China and Canada have signed an agreement to allow them to issue tourist and visitor visas to each other’s citizens with a validity period of up to 10 years. China agreed to a similar deal with the United States last year. Every year more than 100 million Chinese travel abroad. Read More
Source: China Topix
Over the last eight years, the surge in Chinese immigrants to Prince Edward Island (PEI) has brought about a transformation in the Island’s economy.
From the start of 2006, thousands of new immigrants began arriving at Prince Edward Island. A significant number of them hailed from China. Most of these immigrants came as immigrant investors through the provincial nominee program, which required these immigrants to invest in a business on the Island. Over the past eight years, many of these immigrants have settled themselves in Prince Edward Island and have started their own business ventures too.
When she left China in 2010 with her husband, Vicki Li had not even heard of bagels. In China, they had been running a successful steel supply business; that too, in a province that had one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Today, although she is not a Canadian citizen yet, she is the owner and operator of the Great Canadian Bagel in Charlottetown. She liked living in the PEI and so she bought the business to support the family.
In China, John Li worked for one of China’s largest food corporations for 20 years. He was in a senior role in the company’s management in 2011, when he quit his job and immigrated to PEI. Upon arriving in PEI, Li launched Golden Bridge Marketing and Consulting. In conjunction with his three employees, he helps the PEI government and the Island food producers establish connections with the markets in China, which represent a potentially huge market for Canada’s very high quality foodstuff.
Gavian Fang came to PEI from China as a student in 2009 and attended the University of Prince Edward Island. She graduated in May 2012 before moving to Toronto with her husband, where she worked in a bubble teashop. Six months later, they returned to PEI, where she started her own bubble teashop – Charlotte Tea in the Confederation Court Mall in January 2013.
Jason Lee is the program coordinator for PEI Connectors, which works to connect newcomers to Prince Edward Island to the existing business community. He said, “These are people coming from a different country with different cultures, different business styles, in many cases there’s a significant language barrier. They were getting here on P.E.I. and they were looking for some help”. PEI Connectors has helped over more than 260 clients, thus far. All of these 260 clients – barring a dozen, are from China.
Source: CBC News