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By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial
15 October, 2013
Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that the country plans to launch a pilot scheme to facilitate travel within the Asia-Pacific region via an APEC Business Travel Card.
The ABTC will make it easier for business people to visit participating Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies, and will be available to those who have NEXUS membership. NEXUS gives expedited border clearances to pre-approved low-risk frequent travellers wishing to enter Canada and the USA, and costs CAN50 or US50 for five years.
The ABTC will allow Canadian business travellers to join designated APEC lines when going to participating APEC countries, and to benefit from faster border clearance on return via a Trusted Traveller kiosk.
The Government of Canada said it had consulted key stakeholders from the business community. Harper explained that the move would help Canadians to expand their businesses' international reach, with a view to creating jobs and economic growth. He added that it "just makes good business sense."
An ABTC scheme has been running in Australia since 1999. Currently, 18 APEC economies out of 21 participate, while Canada, the Russian Federation, and the USA are "transitional" members.
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