Datuk R Ramanan Ramakrishnan Supports APEC Travel Card Initiatives
Datuk R Ramanan Ramakrishnan’s Thoughts on APEC Business Travel Card
Obtaining clearance for immigration was commonly viewed as a difficulty because of the lengthy process visitor passes took to get approved. Despite its difficulty, such process of visa application is significant to ensure safe passage and proper procedure. This became an obstacle in maintaining good business relations. Consequently, concerns from the stakeholders had led to the introduction of the Asia Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) Business Travel Card to get rid of the complications.
The APEC Business Travel Card is made available to businesses providing them the flexibility to travel easily. This is achieved in a concerted effort by governments to promote free trade and open investment opportunities to participating countries. The APEC Business Travel Card allows travellers pre-cleared short-term entry into countries to do business, avoiding impractical paperwork for business-related purposes.
Individuals bypass the procedure of having to apply for visas and entry permits under personal travel permits and will also be able to use this multi entry passes to enter participating countries on arrival through exclusive APEC lanes.
This initiative is fully endorsed by Datuk R Ramanan Ramakrishnan, who has praised the efficient immigration of Malaysia for enabling an increasingly sensible solution to the advancement and growth of the local economy.
According to Datuk R Ramanan, he condones the APEC Business Travel Card initiative considering that it increased the opportunities for Malaysian entrepreneurs to venture into other international markets within the region. Now, businesses can reap the rewards, and it is all possible simply because of the remarkable effort shown by the officers to visit the member countries to nurture good relationship and subsequently bring ease which really can be enjoyed by Malaysians.
The nations that are presently involved 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.
Since most governments impose strict bureaucratic regulations, the scheme has bring a large impact to Malaysia. Entry into China, as one example, requires advance application to be made, whether it is a business travel re-entries or perhaps just a social pass.
According to a research performed by the APEC Policy Support Unit, the APEC Business Travel Card helps in reducing transactional cost for its holders for up to 38%. This finding shows that the initiative works both saves time and actual cost spent on travelling. Based on estimation, the cummulative time saved for the APEC Business Travel Card holders between March 2010 to July 2011 is 62,413 hours, which in monetary form, is valued at USD1.9 million.