Cabinet approves measure to entice “high potential” foreigners to Thailand

PHOTO: BaronessEast/Flickr

The cabinet has approved a measure to entice “high potential” foreigners, such as wealthy retirees and specialists, to spend a prolonged period in Thailand. The measure is a bid to promote foreign investment and to improve the struggling economy.

The 4 groups that the government hopes to attract to Thailand are high income earners, foreign retirees, experts in different fields, and people who want to use Thailand as their base of work. Government spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana says Thailand is setting a target goal of getting 1 million of these high potential foreigners over the next 5 years. The expectation is that these foreigners will spend and invest enough over a 5 year period to inject 1 trillion baht into the Thai economy, specifically 800 billion in foreign investment and 270 billion in taxes. Thanakorn says foreign experts who are enticed by this measure will strengthen the private business sector.

In order to bring in these high potential individuals, the government plans to issue a new long term visa or smart visa. The visa will grant privileges like not having to notify Thai authorities every 90 days, also known as the 90 day report, an errand many residents have to run. Thanakorn adds that laws and regulations concerning land ownership will also be modified to attract foreign investors. He says other incentives include tax exemptions.

He went on to say that the requirement that dictates 4 Thai nationals have to be employed for every foreigner hired will also be removed. The plan is being further developed by the Board of Investment, the Interior and Labour ministries, the Royal Thai Police, the Finance Ministry and the National Economic and Social Development Council. The NESDC will assess the plan every 5 years and will review extending any of the incentives as they deem necessary.


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Jack Connor

Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.