【英语中国】英国将对中国放松签证规则

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所属分类:双语中国

2013-10-15 09:13

小艾摘要: Britain is to relax visa requirements for Chinese businessmen and tourists, George Osborne will say on Monday, as the chancellor begins a five-day charm offensive to drum-up Chinese investment in UK i ...
Britain is to relax visa requirements for Chinese businessmen and tourists, George Osborne will say on Monday, as the chancellor begins a five-day charm offensive to drum-up Chinese investment in UK infrastructure.

Mr Osborne will herald his visit as “the next big step” in UK-Sino relations as he draws a line under a strained period between the two nations following David Cameron’s decision to meet the Dalai Lama in London last year.

The chancellor will tell students at Peking University: “There is no country in the west more open to investment - especially from China.”

The visa issue is a key bugbear for British retailers, who complain that cumbersome bureaucracy is preventing access to these upwardly-mobile travellers, who typically spend £1,676 per visit, nearly three times the global average.

Competition to attract Chinese shoppers – who flock to Europe to avoid their own government’s high taxes on luxury goods – is fierce. The Chinese are now the world’s most valuable tourists, spending a total of $102bn on their global travels in 2012. France currently receives at least 25 per cent more Chinese tourists each year than Britain.

The UK government will make a series of announcements during the visit. On Sunday, Mr Osborne revealed that the Beijing Construction Engineering Group was joining the £800m project to redevelop Manchester airport. The chancellor is also expected to sign a deal allowing the state-owned Chinese General Nuclear Power Group to become a co-investor in EDF’s planned nuclear plant at Hinkley Point.

Whitehall officials travelling with the chancellor said on Sunday that the decision to relax visa rules was “both symbolic and substantive”. “A perception has developed among business people that the visa system is difficult,” said an official. “This is potentially very significant, we want to show China we are open to their people and open to investment.”

Under the changes announced on Monday, business people will now be able to apply for a 24-hour priority visa instead of having to wait up to a week. London will also pilot a joint visa application with other European countries after retailers complained that Britain’s complex application process was putting tourists off.

乔治?奥斯本(George Osborne)将在周一宣布,英国将对中国商务人士和游客放松签证要求。英国财相正在中国展开为期五天的魅力攻势,目的是吸引更多中国企业投资于英国基础设施。

奥斯本将他此次访华称为英中关系向前迈进的又一大步。他为去年戴维?卡梅伦(David Cameron)决定在伦敦会晤达赖喇嘛后、两国关系紧张的一段时期画上句号。

英国财相将在对北京大学学生发表的讲话中表示:“西方没有一个国家(比英国)对投资更开放,尤其是对来自中国的投资。”

对英国零售商而言,签证问题特别令人烦恼。他们抱怨,繁琐的官僚程序,正让他们失去这些社会地位上升的游客。中国访英游客的人均消费达到1676英镑,接近全球平均水平的三倍。

吸引中国购物者的竞争是激烈的(这些购物者蜂拥而至欧洲,是为了避免中国对奢侈品的高税收)。如今中国人是世界上最有价值的游客,2012年在境外游期间总共消费1020亿美元。法国每年迎来的中国游客至少比英国多出25%。

英国政府将在奥斯本此次访华期间宣布一系列消息。奥斯本已在周日透露,北京建工集团(Beijing Construction Engineering Group)将参与曼彻斯特机场的8亿英镑空港城开发项目。预计英国财相还将签署一项协议,让国有的中国广核集团(Chinese General Nuclear Power Group)成为法国电力(EDF)拟在欣克利角(Hinkley Point)建造的核电站的联合投资者。

陪同财相访华的白厅官员周日表示,放松签证规则的决定“既是象征性的,又是实质性的”。“商务人士群体已经形成的一个印象是,签证制度很难对付,”一名官员表示。“此举潜在具有重大意义,我们希望向中国展示,我们欢迎他们的人员,欢迎投资。”

根据周一将要宣布的新签证规则,商务人士将可申请一种24小时签发的优先签证,而不需要等上一周。伦敦还将试行与其它欧洲国家联合的一项签证申请程序。此前英国零售商抱怨称,英国复杂的申请程序让潜在的游客却步。

译者/和风

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