LONDON, Nov. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/– The Commonwealth of Dominica and the People's Republic of China are celebrating a significant milestone in their 17-year diplomatic relationship. This was demonstrated in a monumental visa-free agreement signed in Dominica's capital Roseau on November 22nd. The move will enable citizens of both countries to travel back and forth without requiring a pre-departure visa, encouraging greater business and trade cooperation.
Dominica and China have enjoyed a long-standing relationship since establishing diplomatic ties in 2004. This has notably included China's investment in Dominica's health sector with the inauguration of the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital, which has already revolutionised the island's healthcare infrastructure. The hospital is the only one to offer MRI services in the Eastern Caribbean region, an achievement made possible by the strong relationship between the two countries.
The last year has seen the small island of Dominica extend its international reach. The agreement on the exemption of visas will enable Dominicans to access one of the world's economic giants, bolstering travel opportunities for both business and leisure. Dominican citizens can now travel visa-free or visa-on-arrival to over 160 countries, accounting for over 75% of global destinations which makes conducting business in various countries infinitely easier.
Comparatively, China's passport only allows visa free access to 79 countries and territories. Its limited offering makes it an obstacle for its citizens to access global hubs like the United Kingdom or the United States. This means that Chinese citizens must go through the bureaucratic hassle of obtaining visas, wasting valuable time, money, and resources.
The same can be said for those hoping to do business in China. For example, entrepreneurs and investors from countries like India, South Africa, Nigeria, or Singapore must jump through similar hoops, as they do not have a visa agreement with China. This requires filling out lengthy paperwork which could lead to missed opportunities that negatively impact business.
"China does not really allow visa-free [access] for many passport holders, and they have given that privilege to the Dominican passport of all categories. So, it's a major plus," said Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. "[Dominican citizens] will be able to travel to many of the business hubs across the world," he added.
Dominica's expansive visa offering is one of the reasons why the island has become an attractive destination for investors looking for greater travel freedom. Dominica's Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme has become a popular route to achieving this. Established in 1993, the programme empowers global investors by offering them second citizenship and all the associated benefits once a contribution is made to the nation's government fund or real estate. As an internationally renowned programme, Dominica ensures that those who become citizens pass a multi-tiered due diligence process to protect its stellar reputation.
Over the last few decades, Dominica's programme has welcomed scores of Chinese investors who are interested in acquiring second citizenship as a means of protecting their wealth, family and future. Aside from the travel opportunities, Dominica's citizenship helps families access the world's top educational institutions, identify alternative business prospects and financial opportunities in a nation with ties to other superpowers like the United Kingdom and the United States.