China is very much open for business.
As the world recovers from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, global businesses are confidently resuming their operations and eagerly seeking new opportunities. Amidst this paradigm shift, China has emerged as an indispensable business travel destination. Renowned for its rich history, vibrant culture, and dynamic economy, China offers a wealth of prospects for entrepreneurs, executives, and professionals alike.
In this article, we delve into the significance of China as a business travel destination, explore the latest travel advice, health vaccinations and visa requirements, and paint a vivid picture of life in China post-COVID.
The Importance of China
China’s Trading Partner Status
Office of National Statistics Stat’s
- 3rd largest Trading Partner with £99bn / 9% after EU (£507bn / 48%) and USA (£120bn / 11%) Total £1,062bn
- 3rd largest Trading Country with £99bn /9% after USA (£120bn / 11%) and Germany (£104bn / 10%)
- 3rd largest Trading Partner with £29bn / 7% after EU (£195bn / 47%) and USA (£58bn / 14%) Total £416bn
- 5th largest Trading Country with £29bn /7% after USA (14%), Netherlands (9%), Germany (8%) and Ireland (7%)
- 2nd largest Trading Partner with £70bn / 11% after EU (£312bn / 48%) Total £646bn
- 2nd largest Trading Country with £70bn / 11% after Germany (£71bn / 11%)
Health Vaccinations and Visa Requirements
Prior to embarking on a business trip to China, it is essential to ensure that all necessary health vaccinations are up to date. While the specific requirements may vary, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or visit a travel clinic for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Common vaccinations recommended for travellers to China include Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, influenza, and routine vaccinations such as measles, mumps, and rubella. Visa requirements for China can vary based on the purpose and duration of your visit. Most business travellers will need to obtain an “M” visa, which allows for business-related activities such as attending conferences, meetings, or negotiating contracts. It is important to note that obtaining a visa for China can be a lengthy process, so it is advisable to plan well in advance and consult the Chinese embassy or consulate in your home country for specific guidelines and requirements. See below for more details or contact your Gray Dawes Travel Consultant or Account Manager for further information.
Life in China Post-COVID
Today, visitors to China can expect a organised and disciplined approach to public health and safety. While some precautions remain in place, such as wearing masks in crowded areas and regular temperature checks, the country has largely resumed its bustling business activities. The renowned Chinese hospitality industry, known for its exceptional service, has also adapted to the new normal, implementing stringent hygiene protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of guests.
Traveling within China is a seamless experience, thanks to the country’s extensive transportation network. High-speed trains connect major cities, making intercity travel efficient and comfortable. Modern airports facilitate domestic and international flights, while well-maintained highways and roads provide convenient options for road travel.
Furthermore, China’s cultural treasures and natural wonders continue to captivate visitors. From the Great Wall to the Terracotta Warriors, the country’s historical sites offer a glimpse into its rich past. The modern skylines of cities like Shanghai and Beijing showcase China’s contemporary architectural marvels, while serene landscapes such as the karst mountains in Guilin or the picturesque lakes in Hangzhou provide respite from the urban bustle.
Travelling To China
British nationals need a visa to enter mainland China, including Hainan Island, but not Hong Kong or Macau.
All visa applicants aged between 14 and 70 inclusive need to make their visa application in person at a Visa Application Centre. As part of the application process, biometric data (scanned fingerprints) has to be provided. The Chinese Visa Application Centres in London, Manchester and Edinburgh are operating and details of opening hours are on their respective websites. The Application Centre in Belfast remains closed.
For further information on categories, and the process for submitting forms for those eligible, please visit this page on the Chinese Embassy website.
Biometric data may be checked/collected by the immigration authorities when entering China to register your entry to the country.
Since 8 January 2023, visa-free transit and transiting airside has resumed. All travellers entering into China must comply in full with entry requirements; there are no exemptions to this.
If you visit Hong Kong from the mainland of China and wish to return to the mainland, you will need a visa that allows you to make a second entry into China.
It is your responsibility to check your visa details carefully. Do not overstay your visa or work illegally. The authorities conduct regular checks and you may be fined, detained or deported (or all three).
If you remain in China longer than 6 months, you may need to get a Residence Permit.
From 29 April 2023, China has changed its COVID-19 entry requirements for all travellers entering the country. You must undertake a lateral flow/rapid antigen test 48 hours before boarding your flight. You must declare your negative test result by filling in the Health Declaration Form via the China Customs website, or through the China Customs App or WeChat account.
Airline officials will no longer check test results. However, upon arrival in China your test result may be checked by officials at customs.
Passengers entering China displaying symptoms of fever, or with an abnormal Health Declaration, may be asked to undertake a rapid antigen test on arrival. Those who test positive will be asked to wear a mask and may be advised to self-isolate whilst symptoms remain (although there is no mandatory self-isolation for COVID-19).
China’s significance as a business travel destination cannot be overstated. Its immense market potential, business-friendly environment, and impressive infrastructure make it an ideal choice for companies looking to expand their global reach. While the pandemic has undoubtedly impacted travel, China has taken decisive measures to control the spread of COVID-19, resulting in a return to normalcy for business activities.
To ensure a smooth business trip, it is crucial to stay informed about the latest health vaccinations and visa requirements. By following the necessary protocols and leveraging the expertise of travel professionals, business travellers can embark on a fruitful journey to China, seizing the countless opportunities it presents.
As the world continues to recover and reshape itself, China remains a steadfast beacon of growth and innovation. With its unique blend of ancient traditions and modern progress, it beckons business travellers to explore its dynamic landscape and forge new partnerships that will shape the global business landscape of tomorrow.
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