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[英伦广角] 2014-06-21 英国简化中国游客签证程序

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Whether it's Buckingham palace, the shops along street or the restaurants in central London, tourists are helping Britain's economy grow, but not enough of them are from China. The UK is losing out to other European rivals such as France, and that's because the UK is not part of the visa agreements which allow oversea visitors to travel to 26 countries in Europe, 90% of Chinese tour operators say they leave the UK off the itinerary every year, but Chinese tourists did spend nearly half a billion last year, and the plan is for that to increase, with the home office simplifying the process by allowing tourists to apply for UK visa using the same form as all the European countries.
It's becoming increasingly reliant for China to make things even an iconic black cab, but for too long it's been a one way straight, that's why the government's relaxing the rules on visas, the hope is to tap in to the increasing spending power of the Chinese middle class.
This is all timed of course with the visit of China's premier who start a four day trip here, and a five billion pound deal with two of Britain's biggest oil companies, BP and Shell, part of a 18 billion pounds worth of trade agreements expected to be finalized in the coming days.
We need to do everything we can to boost the UK's export growth and that means we need to be exporting much more to fast growing markets like China, and at the moment we export more to Ireland than we do to China, so there is a need to take some action and to do it pretty quickly.
Diplomatic relations recently have not been cordial with Chinese human rights abuses creating tensions, but new trade deals, visa relaxations and indeed a meeting for the Chinese premier with the Queen would surely help to improve the picture for British Chinese relations.
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