Thailand Moves To Assure Foreign Investors Over Law Reform

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BANGKOK, Nov 26 – Thailand has assured concerned foreign investors that its review of the Foreign Business Act is to promote investment. The Minister of Commerce reiterated today that the government’s policies on foreign investment include investment promotion, simplification of procedures for business operation and facilitation of trade and investment.

Foreign investors are important to the country’s economy — in the first half of 2014, foreign direct investment through the Board of Investment stood at 239.10 billion baht, accounting for 70.9 per cent of the total investment of 337.42 billion baht for that period.

Thailand is currently undergoing a national reform process to enhance the country’s competitiveness and promote trade and investment, and the study to enhance the Act, to be concluded in December this year, will determine issues that are in accordance with the government’s policy regarding foreign investment.

The Thai government has a clear policy to promote international trade and foreign investment in accordance with good governance principles, the ministry said at a briefing to address foreign investors’ concerns. The review of the Act will be done with caution, with attention and care on the timing, so as to create an investment climate where all stakeholders would benefit, it added.

Gen. Chatchai Sarikulya, the Minister of Commerce, explained to the foreign communities in Thailand that the country will not create a more stringent definition of ‘foreigners’ under the law. He said the draft amendment will be completed next month and submitted to the cabinet for consideration early next year.

At the briefing, Stanley Kang, chairman to the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce to Thailand, said he was satisfied with the clarification by the government that there will not be stringent controls on foreign investment. The current law is already stringent and should not be made any more difficult, he said. He said Thailand should no longer restrict or protect businesses as protection may lead to slow development and benefit only certain groups.

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