State Department decision to extend visa validity for Chinese business travelers will benefit U.S. business and trade, says CEA
Jan 20, 2005
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) praised the United States Department of State for reaching a reciprocal agreement with China that extends visa validity for Chinese business travelers. Beginning January 15, 2005, visas for Chinese nationals visiting the U.S. will be valid for 12 months that include multiple entries, as will visas for U.S. citizens visiting China. The previous maximum validity for both types of visas was six months for multiple entries.
"I commend the U.S. Department of State and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a decision that is beneficial to Chinese and U.S. business travelers," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, the producer of the International CES. "We welcome this action, which acknowledges and supports the growth of commerce between our two nations."
The number of Chinese attendees at the International CES, the world's largest annual consumer electronics trade event, increases each year. The preliminary number of Chinese attendees at the 2005 International CES was 1,779, up from 929 at the 2004 show. As the International CES continues to attract large numbers of attendees from around the world, CEA expects this extension of visa validity to facilitate additional attendance from China.
"Under the previous visa terms, we heard from many Chinese buyers and sellers who decided not to attend the International CES due to difficulties in obtaining visas, jeopardizing billions of dollars in trade," stated Shapiro. "Extending the visa validity stands as a strong example of a more reasonable and flexible approach to issuing visas that will help accelerate and broaden U.S.-China trade relations."
An example of the increased CE business opportunities between the U.S. and China is the recent announcement that CEA is partnering with the China Electronic Chamber of Commerce (CECC) to help expand the international scope of SINOCES, China's most prominent consumer electronics exhibition. The fourth annual SINOCES will take place on July 1-4, 2005 in Qingdao, China, a city that houses several CEA member company facilities. SINOCES is the only government-sanctioned consumer electronics show in China. More than 60,000 people from around the world attended last year's show. More than 300 vendors companies exhibited in 2004, including many who also exhibit at the International CES.
"While we applaud last week's announcement, CEA and others in the business community remain very concerned about overall U.S. visa policy. These concerns include visa processing delays and denials, and the impact on foreign suppliers, customers, employees and business partners, along with conference and trade show participants seeking temporary entry into the United States," added Shapiro. "We welcome further cooperation between the State Department and industry on this broader issue as well."