Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hong Kong offers visa free travel to officials

Hong Kong offers visa free travel to officials

Hong Kong offers visa free travel to officials

Cambodian diplomats and a range of government officials can now travel to Hong Kong without a visa and stay for 14 days under a new exemption agreement with the commercial Chinese city, officials said.

The new exemption took effect on June 1, according to a statement signed by Long Visalo, a secretary of state for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ministry’s spokesman, Koy Kuong, said yesterday that the exemption provided by Hong Kong will strengthen, “will assist the work of Cambodia’s political officials and government offices to strengthen development and economic cooperation with Hong Kong”.

Kuong did not know if the new rule applied to all civil servants in the government or a specific number of government officials.

A former British colony, Hong Kong was handed back to mainland China in 1997. But under the special administrative region and "one country two systems" policy, areas such as immigration remain independent from the mainland.

Ho Vandy, co-chair of the government-private sector working group on tourism, said that Hong Kong is a preferred destination for “Cambodia high-class people” during public holidays, but on the whole, travelers seek out other cities in the region.

On June 5, at the 22nd World Economic Forum on East Asia in Myanmar, ASEAN countries signed a statement of intent to create a paperless digital substitute for a traditional visa.

The  "Smart Visa" would ideally be available from a travel agent, airline, website or mobile device.

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