135th Canton Fair overseas buyers can get visas in 4 workdays

Overseas buyers attending the upcoming 135th China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) can obtain their visas within just four working days, according to a press conference held by the State Council Information Office of China on April 1.

The 135th Canton Fair is scheduled to begin on April 15, and China has implemented a series of measures to ease the travel of overseas buyers attending the Fair in China, as stated by Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister of Commerce and China’s International Trade Representative, at the press conference.

Overseas buyers can apply for a visa with just E-invitation

According to a senior staff member from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, those attending the 135th Canton Fair can apply for a visa at any Chinese embassy or consulate abroad with just the E-invitation letter for the Canton Fair. Additionally, 90 percent of Chinese embassies and consulates abroad have shortened the visa approval process to just four working days.

Furthermore, attendees can take advantage of the new visa-free policy. This policy, which is being trialed from December 1, 2023, to November 30, 2024, allows ordinary passport holders from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia to enjoy visa-free travel to China for up to 15 days.

This year, China has also signed mutual visa exemption agreements with Singapore and Thailand. To date, China has signed mutual visa exemption agreements with 157 countries, covering various types of passports, and has established comprehensive mutual visa exemption with 23 countries.

More foreign currency exchange machines inside the Complex

Wang further explained that the Canton Fair has comprehensively optimized the payment methods within the Complex. Overseas buyers and visitors can choose almost any payment method they prefer. There are a total of eight banking service points, nine ATMs, and five foreign currency exchange machines there.

According to Wang, additional foreign currency exchange machines and mobile point-of-sale (POS) devices will be added during the fair to facilitate payments by overseas buyers and meet their diverse demands for foreign currency exchange, digital payment, mobile payment, credit card payment, and cash.

93,000 overseas buyers preregistered for the upcoming fair

Wang also introduced the highlights of this year’s Canton Fair and detailed the role of the Canton Fair in promoting the stability of the industrial and supply chain.

“We conducted a survey and learned that more than 80 percent of participating companies meet more suppliers through the Canton Fair, while 64 percent find more suitable supporting service providers at the fair,” he said.

The 135th Canton Fair will cover an exhibition area of 1.55 million square meters, showcasing more than 1 million new products, including over 450,000 green products and over 250,000 products with independent intellectual property rights.

The preliminary data shows that a total of 93,000 overseas buyers from 215 countries and regions have preregistered as of March 31, which is growing rapidly every day.

The number of preregistered buyers from the United States has increased by 13.9 percent over the same period of the previous year, and that from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) partner countries, the Middle East, and the RCEP countries increased by 5.9 percent, 69.5 percent, 61.6 percent, and 13.8 percent respectively.

A total of 98 industrial and commercial organizations from the UN, the United States, Europe, Asia, and Oceania have organized delegations to attend the fair, an increase of 25.6 percent over the same period of the previous session.

129 leading enterprises, including those from Fortune Global 500 companies and the Top 250 Global Retailers, have confirmed their participation, an increase of 87 percent over the same period of the previous session.

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