Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry whether the Ministry will consider expanding the Green Lane to allow for business travel to China without sponsors so that small businesses may continue travelling for business to China.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade & Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing
1. The Singapore-China Fast Lane was launched on 8 June 2020 to facilitate essential cross-border travel between Singapore and six Chinese provinces and municipalities . It was Singapore’s first fast lane arrangement with a foreign partner, and China’s first with a Southeast Asian country.
2. The Singapore Government has received feedback from the Singapore business community on the challenges our businesses face in obtaining approval from the Chinese authorities for Fast Lane travel to China. These include difficulties in securing Fast Lane Letters of Invitation (LOI) , the restrictions under a controlled itinerary, and being subjected to a 14-day quarantine by some local authorities. Requirements such as the need for a controlled itinerary supervised by a sponsoring local government agency or host company are integral to the Fast Lane. They are intended to minimise the exposure of such Fast Lane travellers to the broader community, in lieu of a quarantine period. This applies to Fast Lane users of both Singapore and China.
3. MTI, together with MFA, has conveyed the feedback from our business community to the relevant Chinese authorities. We will continue working with the Chinese authorities to improve the Fast Lane to bring greater benefit to the business communities of both countries.