16 Aug 2007

China and Hong Kong given visa free status

9:00 am on 16 August 2007

Fiji's tourism industry is expected to receive a boost after the interim government approved visa free status for nationals of mainland China and Hong Kong.

The minister for foreign affairs, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, says citizens of both places will be issued visas without charge on their arrival in Fiji, provided they meet the other normal entry requirements such as having return tickets and adequate funds.

Citizens of 103 countries around the world have now been exempted from obtaining visas prior to their arrival in Fiji.

But the National Federation Party's general secretary, Pramod Rae, claims granting visa free entry to Chinese nationals would provide an opening for the Chinese mafia into a third world country.