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Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the U.K. will simplify the visa application process for Chinese visitors.
Britain will start a pilot program to allow some Chinese travel agents to apply for a visa by submitting the same form they’ll use for a visit the European Union’s passport-free Schengen Zone, according to a statement.
Have announced new measures to simplify + speed up visa applications for visitors from #China. Good for tourism and British business
— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) October 13, 2013
Osborne is leading a five-day visit to China to promote economic links between the two countries, starting in Beijing. Among the delegates are London Mayor Boris Johnson and representatives of British technology companies.
“These changes will streamline and simplify the visa application process for Chinese visitors, while ensuring the system is strong and secure,” Osborne said in an e-mailed statement.
Other visa measures include creating a “super priority” service that will start about the middle of next year. A “VIP mobile visa” service now operating in Beijing and Shanghai, that reduces the collection process to about five minutes, will be expanded to other parts of China.
Earlier today, Beijing Construction Engineering Group Co. and Manchester Airports Group said they’ve formed a venture with other partners to build an international business district in Manchester, the U.K.’s second-biggest city. The buildings will be worth about 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion) when they’re completed and fully leased, the partners said in a statement.
–Editors: Will Kennedy, Alan Soughley
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