Lesotho to sign visa deal with China

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Lekhetho Ntsukunyane

THE governments of Lesotho and China will today sign an agreement to remove visa requirements for official passport holders travelling between the two countries.

According to Foreign Affairs and International Relations Minister Tlohang Sekhamane, the agreement, which is expected to be signed at the ministry’s offices in Maseru would only cater for official passport holders.

An official passport is only issued to people in the service of the government, holding a senior position or travelling on official business.

“We are signing the visa abolishment agreement with the government of the People’s Republic of China tomorrow at around 10am,” he said.

“The agreement only caters for people who hold official passports from both countries. Official passports are for senior officials in both government and the private sector.

“In Lesotho, we have three classifications of passports; normal, official and diplomatic. People who hold official passports are those who qualified as senior officials.”

Mr Sekhamane also said he would be signing the agreement on behalf of the government while the Asian nation would be represented by a delegation.

He said the agreement was meant to foster bilateral relations and increase the ease of doing business between the two countries.

“It is also important to note that this agreement is a sign of goodwill between the two countries to enhance relations and increase investment opportunities,” the minister said.

“In the past, it took a long time for businesspeople from China to apply for a visa if they wanted to start businesses not only in Lesotho, but anywhere outside their country.

“Similarly, for Basotho looking for opportunities in China it would take long for them to secure visas.”

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