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

Maya Taylor

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Thai government plans to amend business, immigration rules, for foreign investors | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Midas PR Group
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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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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Joe

    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

        Joe

        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

        Jules

        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

    murika

    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

    Alam

    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

        Nipral

        Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 4:43 pm

        Is there any REAL Thai lawyer ?

        • Avatar

          art

          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

    Nipral

    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

        Nipral

        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

      Ciao.

      • 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

    lou

    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

    Peter

    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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Thailand

Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis

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Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Herrera & Partners

Thailand’s tourism officials have a new idea to draw in visitors: film production. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is aiming to generate around 3 billion baht from foreign film crews and is targeting projects with an investment over 100 million baht, hoping to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the lack of international tourists during the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign tourism revenue drastically dropped nearly 83% in 2020, going from nearly 40 million tourists in 2019 to only 6.7 million tourists in 2020.

The tourism department’s director-general Anant Wongbenjarat says that Thailand welcomed 176 international film productions to the country last year, generating 1.73 billion baht for the local economy. But this is a sharp decrease compared to the previous year where the 740 foreign film crews generated 4.86 billion baht.

In August, the CCSA decided to grant special entry permission to film productions. 53 film production projects were based in Thailand during August and December, contributing 1.14 billion baht to the economy. Those entering Thailand must still undergo a 14 day quarantine.

“International productions can proceed and generate income for locals despite the tourism slowdown.”

Anant also says there are 4 more film production projects underway, and it is forecasted to generate 186 million baht, bringing the total to 57 projects. In the first half of this year, there will be nine more productions expected to come in and help create at least 800 jobs for locals.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Massage workers in Pattaya call for reopening of spas and massages shops

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Massage workers in Pattaya call for reopening of spas and massages shops | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Saeree News

A group of about 50 workers from Pattaya massage shops and spas gathered together to call for the reopening of their businesses after being closed for the past month due to Covid-19 restrictions. The group called themselves the “Pattaya Health Massage” presented a letter signed by 60 massage shops, spas and gyms to Bang Lamung District Sheriff this morning.

Chon Buri is listed as a “high risk” area with maximum restrictions. Many nonessential businesses in the province have been closed including massage shops, spas and gyms.

Now that Chon Buri has gone 5 consecutive days without a local Covid-19 infection, the workers say it’s time for businesses, like massage shops and spas, to reopen.

The workers also raised the point that other provinces and districts across Thailand are loosening restrictions as the number of active cases continues to drop. The workers also said that there are no Covid-19 clusters or major outbreaks related to massage shops or fitness venues.

Bang Lamung District Sheriff Amnat Charoensri met the protesters and collected the petition and says he understands that many people need to get back to work to earn income. Local officials are expected to hold a meeting within the next week to potentially loosen restrictions.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Business

The ‘office’ is SO last century. Say hello to the world of remote working.

The Thaiger

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The ‘office’ is SO last century. Say hello to the world of remote working. | The Thaiger

Do you work from home? Or can you work anywhere have a laptop and wi-fi? Are you a trader or selling stuff online? You’re part of a growing trend in modern work practices as the fancy city office becomes an expensive relic of the ‘old normal’.

2020 became the year of people working from home. In same case, it was the year of being told to stay home so there wasn’t much option. During Thailand’s lockdowns in April and May, offices were closed and employers had to scramble to find alternatives to the “office”. With the rise of Zoom and other video conferencing software, ways of tracking time-on-keyboard and hundreds of other monitoring apps, employers suddenly discovered they could actually run their businesses without an office. There were certainly new dynamics and unforeseen challenges, but for the most part, it worked.

Companies had worked from central office locations for a hundred years. The remote/work-from-home option was a new test for everyone involved but many early wrinkles have been ironed out after an accelerated learning curve due to the Covid-19 situation.

In the early days, most companies weren’t ready to close up the office and send their workers home claiming that some basic operations such as accounting and invoicing were not yet able to be done online (Thailand has a love of hard-copies and paperwork).

Team meetings were also more clumsy online. There were even companies that told their staff to keep coming in to the office as there was no legal barrier preventing them from doing so. But many smaller and less digitally-savvy firms required workers to come in and risk contracting the virus.

In the US, the Bureau of Labour Statistics found only 29% of jobs in the US could be completed from home, while in Thailand (a far less digitised and service-based economy) the percentage was probably lower.

But larger Thai firms, such as Unilever and True Digital allowed nearly 100% of their white-collar employees to work from home early during the lockdown phase. Other companies adapted quickly and found that working remotely, or from home, allowed their businesses additional flexibility. Many workers also say they enjoyed the lack of office interruptions too.

While Unilever was unable to send its factory workforce home, it was able to shift all sales and executive personnel fully online to avoid possible Covid exposure finding hitherto unknown improvements in the firm’s e-commerce presence.

Thai startups such as Eko (“your complete employee experience platform”) was able to capitalise on the rise of work-from-home with its “work anywhere” employee application. Eko experienced 200% year-on-year sales growth in the first half of 2020 as companies looked for solutions to connect employees from home.

Teleconferencing juggernaut Zoom was trading shares at US$88 at the start of 2020, to rise to $568 by mid-October, only to trail off to $337 by the end of the year – the fickle nature of a fast-rising tech start-up.

Employees, generally, prefer the shift to working from home and the flexible hours. It doesn’t suit all businesses or all employees, but it suits many. A study by by recruitment specialists Robert Walters Thailand found 75% of workers want opportunities to work-from-home and only 25% want a return to full-time work at the office.

Last month the police and the Bangkok Metropolitan Organisation police urged businesses to allow employees to work from home at least once a week to cut down on traffic-induced pollution.

The Covid-19 pandemic also forced countries to rethink their supply chains and reliance on foreign goods. China, for example, responded to the outbreak by shutting down factories, some of which other countries relied on for medical equipment needed to fight the virus, and vital components needed for manufacturing of goods in China and other countries.

Whilst there was an initial push-back on China, the international supply chain has become so entwined with Chinese businesses and manufacturers, and China with other countries, that it would take decades to unwind.

One of the biggest winners this year has been the rise of the delivery services. Grab Bike, Food Panda, We Serve and Line Bike are the best known but there are start ups making inroads into the growing delivery space as well as many smaller and larger businesses that have their own deliveries.

These businesses have been able to thrive on the ‘new normal’ stay-at-home culture. Eat at home, work at home, shop from home, watch movies at home – the trend is growing as people realise that they can get almost everything delivered, timely, efficiently and at little additional cost, usually free.

The big test will be once the Covid situation settles down, whatever that means and whenever it happens, and companies look back at the successes and failures of their employees working from home. But there’s no doubt the pandemic and the imposed restrictions ave accelerated the need to develop new ways of allowing employees to work safely, remotely or from home.

The successful transition of some office work to work-at-home will also put continued pressure on the commercial real estate market. Many employers are looking at their monthly office rental outgoings and starting to measure the return on their investment.

The rise of the work-at-home phenomenon and the digital nomad will be the main trends for office work in 2021.

This article was written laying on a couch, at home, at 6.15am in the morning… because we can.

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