India is aiming on proposing a system of visa-free travel, allowing visa free business tour to 15 nations under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement for free trade with the efforts being made to boost the regional business ties.
The Commerce Department is planning to put its idea to the member of the RCEP and also sought approval for its plan from the ministry of home.
An official from the Commerce department said that the card for business travel has been modeled on the lines and according to that of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). He also informed that they have discussed this idea with the home affairs ministry, and they don’t see much problem with that.
The RCEP is a group of 16 countries that also includes ten members from Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) group and their trade partners. The countries included are India, Japan, South Korea, China, New Zealand and Australia.
This card helps the bonafide travelers in avoiding long queues and visa documentation at the passport control.
The card is going to be valid for the smaller time period, the official informed. "We plan to get business travelers vetted by established trade organisations like the Federation of Indian Exports Organizations and industry chambers like Ficci (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) and CII (Confederation of Indian Industry)." He added.
The 16 members countries group is still working on the preliminary proposals that could be made public in their next meeting in Busan, South Korea on 12-16 October.
According to the experts, this agreement of partnership covers services, goods, investment, rights for intellectual property and competition, it is scheduled to get finalized in this year, the department of commerce is not much sure to meet the deadline. The suggestion of the travel card will serve as sweetening the terms of deal of RCEP, which is having a structure of three tier on goods side.