Hong Kong to provide free online visa services for Taiwanese

08/10/2011 02:17 PM

Hong Kong, Aug. 10 (CNA) The Hong Kong government announced Wednesday that it will launch free online visa services for Taiwanese citizens intending to travel to the special administrative region.

Details of the reciprocal measure will be further published by the Immigration Department, said Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John C. Tsang during the second annual Taiwan-Hong Kong conference on economic and cultural cooperation.

In addition, starting Sept. 1, Taiwanese who hold a Mainland China Travel Permit will be allowed to stay for up to 30 days in Hong Kong without having to apply for a visa, a significant extension compared with the current seven days, Tsang said.

He expressed confidence that the more convenient arrangements will help enhance ties between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

He further noted that Hong Kong will open its first official representation in Taiwan -- the Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office -- before the end of this year, marking a new milestone in relations between the two sides.

The moves will follow the July 15 upgrading of Taiwan's Chung Hwa Travel Service to the level of a quasi-official agency, renamed the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.

(By Stanley Cheung and Y.F. Low)ENDITEM/J

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