Concerns over the mainland's pre-Olympic visa curbs deepened yesterday as European business leaders in Hong Kong and across the border complained about difficulties in obtaining travel visas. The Beijing-based European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said the mainland's new visa rules were hampering economic co-operation between China and the EU. It said it had expressed its concerns to the Foreign Ministry. The EU chamber said it had received complaints from companies in Hong Kong and on the mainland that they had unexpected difficulties in obtaining and renewing business travel visas. The complaints included the suspension of express visa services and refusal of multiple-entry visas. 'These new practices make the possibility of travelling to China for business uncertain and increase travel costs,' said chamber president Joerg Wuttke. Visa restrictions have been causing concern for the past few weeks. Major foreign chambers of commerce in Hong Kong have also voiced concerns. They said businessmen were unable to obtain multiple-entry visas and had been stymied by extra red tape, requiring proof of hotel vouchers and a return air ticket. Authorities' repeated clarifications do not appear to have reduced the level of confusion. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in Beijing on Thursday that multiple-entry visas were still available for 'eligible applicants'. She also said it was 'normal and reasonable' for applicants to provide necessary materials when applying.