ODM successfully applied for APEC cards for their managers to allow for Visa free travel in major countries in this scheme.  Our major concern was gaining long term Visa free entry to China – this has always been an issue for us especially after the troubles we had when opening our Shanghai buying office and not being granted visas to do business during the Olympics.

This fee for the card for HK residents is around US$60 for the 3 years, extremely cheap even when compared to the cost of a normal 6 month visa for China alone….

There are 20 economies currently participating in the ABTC Scheme: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, PNG, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam.

The United States of America and Canada are currently Transitional Members. Cardholders from all participating economies are now also entitled to use ‘fast-track’ immigration lanes (currently designated for air-crew) at all international airports in the United States and 8 major international airports in Canada.

How long does an apec card take to process in 2010? We filed these applications for staff who are Hong Kong residents and got temporary cards back within 2 months with visa free access to 12/18 countries.   We will get updated cards later once the rest of the countries get the applications processed for us.

The APEC Business Mobility Group (BMG) is one of the sub-fora working groups of the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI).  It is made up of government representatives from the 21 member economies of APEC. These representatives are from government departments responsible for immigration and consular affairs. The group usually meets three times a year at the APEC Senior Officials’ Meetings.

Hope this post interesting for those frequently travelling for business in the region.   Feel free to drop in for a consultation with our Hong Kong, Shanghai or Singapore office