Datuk R Ramanan Ramakrishnan’s Thoughts on APEC Travel Card
Datuk R Ramanan Thought on APEC Business Travel Card
Getting clearance for immigration was commonly regarded as a challenge due to lengthy process visitor passes took to get approved. Despite its inconvenience, such procedure of visa application is important to ensure safe passage and proper procedure. This had become an obstacle in maintaining good business connections. Eventually, concerns from the stakeholders led to the launch of the Asia Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) Business Travel Card to get rid of the concerns.
Owners of businesses have the ability to apply for the APEC Business Travel Card to obtain more flexibility to travel. This is attained through mutual cooperation between nations with the goal of opening investment opportunities and stimulating free trade. With the APEC Business Card, the holders short-term entry could be pre-cleared into countries to do business. This method allows the card holders to get away from excessive rules and procedures.
The previously required process to obtain entry permits under personal travel permits and visas can be skipped. moreover, special APEC lanes are made available to the card holders when entering participating countries upon arrival.
Giving his full support, Datuk R Ramanan had also complimented the Malaysian Immigration Department for their effort in enabling such a shrewd solution that could contribute to the national economic advancement and expansion.
According to Datuk R Ramanan, he condones the APEC Business Travel Card initiative given it increased the opportunities for Malaysian people who run businesses to venture into other international markets in the region. Now, businesses can reap the rewards, and it is all possible simply because of the great effort given by the officers to visit the relevant countries to nurture good relationship and eventually bring ease that will be enjoyed by Malaysians.
The nations that are presently engaged in the APEC scheme include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Canada and the United States are transition members of the program.
The benefits are tremendous for Malaysia, as diplomatic ties with certain countries require more bureaucratic administration, as an illustration, Republic of China, in which the limitations on entry should be applied upfront, whether it be a social pass or business-related re-entries.
Recently, a survey conducted by the APEC Policy Support Unit has unveiled that the APEC Business Travel Card initiative has helped card holders to cut back their transaction cost about 38%. This reveals that the scheme does not only aid in reducing waiting time, but also real travelling cost. Between March 2010 to July 2011 alone, it has been estimated that a total of 62,413 hours was saved by the card owners, which translated into USD1.9 million.