Le­sotho to sign visa deal with China

Lesotho Times - - News - Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane

The gov­ern­ments of Le­sotho and China will to­day sign an agree­ment to re­move visa re­quire­ments for of­fi­cial pass­port hold­ers trav­el­ling be­tween the two coun­tries.

Ac­cord­ing to For­eign Affairs and In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions Min­is­ter Tlo­hang Sekhamane, the agree­ment, which is ex­pected to be signed at the min­istry’s of­fices in Maseru would only cater for of­fi­cial pass­port hold­ers.

An of­fi­cial pass­port is only is­sued to peo­ple in the ser­vice of the govern­ment, hold­ing a se­nior po­si­tion or trav­el­ling on of­fi­cial busi­ness.

“We are sign­ing the visa abol­ish­ment agree­ment with the govern­ment of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China to­mor­row at around 10am,” he said.

“The agree­ment only caters for peo­ple who hold of­fi­cial pass­ports from both coun­tries. Of­fi­cial pass­ports are for se­nior of- fi­cials in both govern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor.

“In Le­sotho, we have three clas­si­fi­ca­tions of pass­ports; nor­mal, of­fi­cial and diplo­matic. Peo­ple who hold of­fi­cial pass­ports are those who qual­i­fied as se­nior of­fi­cials.”

Mr Sekhamane also said he would be sign­ing the agree­ment on be­half of the govern­ment while the Asian na­tion would be rep­re­sented by a del­e­ga­tion.

he said the agree­ment was meant to foster bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and in­crease the ease of do­ing busi­ness be­tween the two coun- tries.

“It is also im­por­tant to note that this agree­ment is a sign of good­will be­tween the two coun­tries to en­hance re­la­tions and in­crease in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties,” the min­is­ter said.

“In the past, it took a long time for busi­ness­peo­ple from China to ap­ply for a visa if they wanted to start busi­nesses not only in Le­sotho, but any­where out­side their coun­try.

“Sim­i­larly, for Ba­sotho look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties in China it would take long for them to se­cure visas.”

For­eign affairs and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions Min­is­ter Tlo­hang Sekhamane.

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