New pol­icy to cre­ate cos­mopoli­tan city

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By LI FUSHENG

Chengdu’s 72-hour visa free pol­icy will bring more busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties, said in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies and trade as­soaci­tions in the south­west­ern me­trop­o­lis.

Chengdu is the first city in western China and the fourth na­tion­wide to adopt the pol­icy fol­low­ing Shang­hai, Bei­jing and Guangzhou.

“Of course the pol­icy will fa­cil­i­tate trips of multi­na­tion­als’ over­seas em­ploy­ees, es­pe­cially tech­ni­cal ex­perts and top man­age­ment,” said Gu Yi, In­tel’s pub­lic af­fairs di­rec­tor for west China.

The pol­icy, which started last Septem­ber, al­lows cit­i­zens from 51 coun­tries in Asia, the Amer­i­cas, Europe and Ocea­nia to spend three days in Chengdu if they have valid visas and on­ward flight tick­ets.

“In fact Chengdu has served as the venue of sev­eral of our global meet­ings this year,” said Gu.

A Chengdu na­tive, she said the pol­icy will make the “his­tor­i­cal, com­fort­able” city more in­ter­na­tional.

A spokesman from Dell Inc said the visa-free pol­icy “has an im­me­di­ate and pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on the com­pany’s busi­ness de­vel­op­ment” in the city now that the IT gi­ant has es­tab­lished a global hub of op­er­a­tions there.

A to­tal of 252 For­tune 500 com­pa­nies had a pres­ence in the city by the end of

Of course the pol­icy will fa­cil­i­tate trips of multi­na­tion­als’ over­seas em­ploy­ees, es­pe­cially tech­ni­cal ex­perts and top man­age­ment.” GU YI IN­TEL’S PUB­LIC AF­FAIRS DI­REC­TOR FOR WEST CHINA

2013, ac­cord­ing to Chengdu’s in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion com­mis­sion.

Multi­na­tional com­pa­nies are en­cour­aged to in­vite their over­seas em­ploy­ees to make use of the pol­icy.

The move will help make the city bet­ter known, said Xue Lian, a project man­ager of the Amer­i­can Cham­ber of Com­merce in South­west China.

More busi­ness people want to go to Chengdu as the pol­icy makes trav­el­ing eas­ier, said Xue in an ear­lier in­ter­view with China Daily.

Data from the Chengdu en­try and exit ad­min­is­tra­tion showed that as of March 31, about 100 trav­el­ers on their way to other coun­tries spent time in the re­gion, in ac­cor­dance with the pol­icy. Most were from the United States, the United King­dom and Ger­many.

More US tourists are ex­pected as the United Air­lines will open di­rect flights from San Fran­cisco to Chengdu in June. The city al­ready has 70 in­ter­na­tional flight routes.

Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties have come up with a range of ser­vices to make vis­its eas­ier for for­eign­ers mak­ing use of the pol­icy.

A bilin­gual call cen­ter was set up and 20 train­ing ses­sions were held by late March for work­ers in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try.

The govern­ment said it could ex­tend vis­its of people who want to stay longer than three days af­ter they file an ap­pli­ca­tion.

Plans for more duty-free stores at the air­port and in down­town Chengdu are also on the agenda.

Gu at In­tel said the lo­cal govern­ment was do­ing a very good job but she called for more ef­forts to im­prove trans­la­tion of traf­fic signs and bill­boards.

She said lo­cals should be en­cour­aged to speak Man­darin to im­prove the city’s ap­peal as many speak Sichuan di­alect in their daily life.

Li Zhiy­ong, deputy dean of the tourism in­sti­tute at Sichuan Univer­sity, agreed. Li said the govern­ment should im­prove English ser­vices and roll out more tourism prod­ucts for in­ter­na­tional trav­el­ers.

Lo­cal ho­tels in Chengdu are get­ting pre­pared for over­seas guests, and more and more in­ter­na­tional brands are join­ing them.

Chris Clark, gen­eral man­ager of The Ritz- Carl­ton, Chengdu said his ho­tel will soon of­fer tai­lor-made prod­ucts in­clud­ing the “Chengdu Ex­pe­ri­ence Pack­age”, which will pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on where to go, what to eat and where to shop ef­fi­ciently, so vis­i­tors can get the most out of their 72 hour stay.


The iconic Shangri-La Chengdu. More in­ter­na­tional ho­tel brands are ex­pected to open in the city fol­low­ing the 72-hour visa-free pol­icy.

The fi­nan­cial district in Chengdu has gath­ered the in­ter­est of sev­eral do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

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