Easier entry for Chinese entrepreneurs and tourists in Portuguese-speaking African countries

Most African countries, including the Portuguese-speaking ones, have been facilitating the entry of Chinese citizens in their respective territories, the aim being to increase investment and tourism, indicates a study by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).

The MPI survey signed by Loksan Harley reports that all the Portuguese-speaking African countries are in the group that grants a visa-on-arrival to citizens from China, without requiring that it be granted before departure.

Angola is one of the countries indicated as being among the latest to facilitate the entry of Chinese, specifically via a reciprocal agreement on preferential visas signed in early 2018.

The study indicates that according to information released after that agreement it is meant to facilitate business trips, reduce processing time and guarantee that business travellers now only need to apply for a visa once a year at most.

Angola and South Africa, “both with particularly significant relations with China and with resident Chinese migrant populations, have also made it easier for Chinese travellers to obtain long-term multiple-entry visas,” the MPI explains.

“The South African and Angolan cases highlight the importance of facilitating business trips, which probably reflects the position of both countries as key destinations for Chinese investment,” it adds.

A total of 27 African countries, among them all the Portuguese-speaking ones, now allow Chinese citizens to apply for a visa upon arrival.

The study also reports that the number of African countries that do not require any type of entry visa has increased to the current total of seven, including large economies such as Morocco and Egypt, oil producers such as Equatorial Guinea and island economies such as Mauritius.

Besides stimulating tourism, the visa exemptions “may facilitate trade interchanges, family visits of Chinese migrants, international cooperation and cultural exchanges,” the MPI indicates.

“Simpler visa restrictions for Chinese citizens imply several potential advantages for African countries. Many are undertaking more intense economic and cultural relations with China. More than 10,000 Chinese companies are operating throughout the continent and the Confucius Institute grew from 0 to 48 establishments between 2004 and 2018,” the MPI study explains. (Macauhub)