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Thai government plans to amend business, immigration rules, for foreign investors

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Midas PR Group

Foreign investors in Thailand have long decried the onerous, complex, and sometimes downright baffling, bureaucracy that comes with doing business in the Land of Smiles. And it appears officials in Bangkok are finally sitting up and taking notice. Nation Thailand reports that, in an effort to stimulate the ailing economy, the government plans to make some changes to the regulations that govern foreign business and immigration. It’s understood the changes will apply to excise tax, foreign employees, city planning, the movie and video industry, biodiversity, and the energy sector, including alternative energy.

It’s hoped 85% of the changes can be implemented under the government’s “regulatory guillotine” scheme in the coming year. The plans are being spearheaded by the Public Sector Development Commission, in an effort to tackle the high costs of compliance faced by both businesses and consumers, which is around 142 billion baht a year. The Thailand Development Research Institute says the changes could reduce those costs by over 55% for consumers and over 22% for businesses.

Thailand currently sits at number 21 in the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” rankings. The government hopes the planned changes will elevate the Kingdom into the top 10.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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  1. Avatar


    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    How can Thailand currently be at number 21 for ease of doing business, did they perhaps overlook the fact that you must have a Thai partner and Thai shareholders who own most of the business? Yes if you invest many millions you get all these privileges, maybe the number 21 ranking is about this,but most investors don’t have that kind of money or don’t want to risk it in a country where the law does not protect you very much.

    • Avatar

      Jilted John

      Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 1:25 pm

      If the brown envelope was a tad bigger then they would of made the top 20…

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      Must have Thai partners or shareholders? Seems like you never heard of the Alien Business Act (1999) and subsequent amendments.

      • Avatar


        Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 8:08 pm

        James Pate I had a business for 15 years you idiot.

        • Avatar

          James Pate

          Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 7:42 am

          No need for name-calling, Joe. Your use of the word “must” was inaccurate. That’s all.

      • Avatar


        Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 6:45 am

        Who would invest in Thailand when pre covid if you intend to stay for longer than 1 month you had to leave the country for visa runs….not very inviting is it.

  2. Avatar


    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    thailand, best place for money laundring, bring millions in cash, no questions asked, as long as you give their brown enveloppes to the right peoples…

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    They make it overly difficult, so that they can take bribes to make it easy.
    It’s the Thai way.
    Plus Thais make money out of issuing these permits and licenses.

  4. Avatar


    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    We wish to register export import company in Thailand but how may we skip to have 4 thai staff a must and 51% shareholder must be Thailand citizens.
    In the 1st year of starting our business it is not possible to hire a must 4 thai staff, what is rules say.

    Hope that new rules will be export company registration friendly for the foreign investors.

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 4:00 pm

      You need to pay real money for real advice from a real lawyer.

      • Avatar


        Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 4:43 pm

        Is there any REAL Thai lawyer ?

        • Avatar


          Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 11:30 pm

          There are no lawyers in Thailand. Just pen-pushers. They fill in the forms, they parrot the judge, nothing ever happens. Nothing gets resolved. Only the money these people charge up front.

          Bring in no-win no-fee lawyers.
          Hire the mafia.
          Don’t expect a Thai lawyer to fight your corner.

  5. Avatar


    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Not a penny more in this corrupt country ! We have a wealth of alternatives in
    SE Asia. Ciao !!!

    • Avatar

      Robert Bunker

      Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 6:02 pm

      Nipral.Your mock shock and outrage have tickled me..not least because i spent many years working all over a particular sub-continent not that far to the West of Thailand. There, they developed (with a little help from the Brits) a system of bureaucracy and corruption that would be the envy of those currently in charge of such matters in the LOS. Bon voyage..and be careful what you wish for.?

      • Avatar


        Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 6:24 pm

        Unlike you we are doing quite well in India (West of Thailand) and even better East in Vietnam. Probably a matter of luck ! As far as corruption is concerned none will seriously deny that Thailand deserves the Nobel should there be one in the future !

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 11:21 pm

        Well where!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 7:37 pm


      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 11:35 pm

        Yes well the way the Thais rip off foreigners there will be more Ciaos.
        What mugs are going to risk money in this place.
        Next week they can enact a law stating all funds transferred to foreign countries will be subjected to a tax of 30 percentage due to the economical situation in Thailand.
        These funds will affect foreigners more than Thais. The government and rich Thais can take the money out in diplomatic pouches.
        When the money is rolling in they are nice. When the money is rolling out they will revert to their true nature, the scamming Thai.

        • Avatar

          preesy chepuce

          Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 4:10 pm

          That might not be as easy as you think, apart from double-taxation treaties, it would choke off investment into the country extremely quickly, and the markets would reflect that. The last think most countries need right now is scaring off potential investors.

          • Avatar

            Mr cynic

            Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 8:01 pm

            There have been so many changes to laws and policies in thailand over the years that nobody who did the slightest bit of due diligence about the place would invest a single cent of their own in the place.
            The only case I can see for investing is if you have i’l gotten gains to launder and that is it.
            anybody sensible with money to invest in the region will do so in singapore only like most of the wealthy locals do.

  6. Avatar


    Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 10:44 am

    If y are looking for biz adventures, and the greatest chances to lose, its worst to learn and enjoy Thailand system.
    Government has a brilliant idea to make the matter simpler.

  7. Avatar


    Saturday, January 2, 2021 at 4:59 am

    I know of a UK manufacturing company who have very recently pulled the plug on their intention to transfer their manufacturing operations to Thailand, This was due mainly to the very same problems with burdensome regulations and a lack of faith in the legal system. I heard this first hand from a long serving, ‘middle level manager’ of the company.

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