By Tabora Bojang
A new Chinese visa application centre designed to help enable Gambians to apply for short and long-term visas to the People’s Republic of China has opened in Banjul.
It is the second Chinese visa centre launched in Africa this month, and will play a pivotal role in strengthening travels from The Gambia to China.
The opening of the new centre to be operated by VFS Global, as the world’s largest outsourcing and tech services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions, is part of efforts driven by new Gambia-China friendship and cooperation of people-to-people means.
Commenting on the launch of the new centre, the outgoing Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia Zhang Jiming said since the resumption of diplomatic ties two years ago, the relationship between Beijing and Banjul has become stronger.
“…Our bilateral relations are rooted in and supported by our two peoples and it should serve their well-being”.
He said the centre is a commercial entity and not an affiliate of the Chinese Embassy.
Fatou Njie-Hydara, the Director of Asia and Oceanic Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad described the opening as a “historic landmark” that will strengthen the people-to-people exchange between the two counties.
She said this is the beginning of a long mutual cooperation the two countries enjoy and the centre she added, will help alleviate the struggles that young Gambians go through to secure Chinese visas in Dakar.