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Cambodia may tweak Phuket property



Cambodia may tweak Phuket property | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

PHUKET: Cambodia is trying to encourage international investment by relaxing laws on property ownership by foreigners.

The Financial Times reports that Cambodia’s draft law is under discussion at the National Assembly and would allow non-nationals to fully own residential apartments for the first time.

While resort islands such as Phuket and Bali remain the most popular destinations for foreigners looking to purchase a holiday home in southeast Asia, Cambodia’s lawmakers hope deregulation will help to lift the Cambodian property market out of the doldrums.

While Hong Kong and Singapore pose few barriers to foreign ownership of property, the less developed nations of southeast Asia still labor under significant restrictions against it. In Thailand, total foreign ownership of buildings must not exceed 49 per cent.

But with property prices under pressure across Asia, a number of countries are now considering liberalising discriminatory property laws.

Protests shut down shopping

The Star
More than than 30,000 red shirted protesters converged on the main shopping area in Bangkok on Saturday and threatened to stay until the prime minister calls elections, forcing big department stores to close and paralysing traffic.

The red-shirted protesters swarmed an intersection whose upmarket stores are a symbol of wealth in the Thai capital, accusing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government of neglecting the poor on the 21st day of their mass street rally.

Central World, the second-largest shopping complex in Southeast Asia, and other big malls shut their doors in response to the protests.

Jatuporn Prompan, a red-shirt leader, said from a makeshift stage: “It is time for the under-privileged to liberate themselves from oppression made by the elite-backed government.”

While the protests in the nation’s capital continue, Phuket remains calm, as does the rest of Thailand outside the Greater Bangkok area. However, the political turmoil is clearly inflicting mounting damage on tourism in Phuket.

On Wednesday, Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) president Somboon Jirayus said that tourism in the resort province this year has seen only 60-70 per cent of the check-ins it enjoyed during the same period last year.

Thailand faces sugar shortage

The Nation
Thailand’s Commerce Ministry has found that 20 provinces are facing an inadequate supply of sugar, while consumers are paying more than the controlled price in 50 provinces.

Furthermore, Thailand is facing a serious sugar shortage, as most millers have refused to supply the commodity to the ministry for a special 80,000-tonne allocation aimed at easing the tight market situation.

Yanyong Phuangrach, permanent secretary to the ministry, yesterday said that since an agreement was reached late last month, only one miller had come forward, supplying only 360 tons.

The ministry now plans to send teams to inspect sugar millers’ stockpiles to prevent hoarding and price speculation. If the government were to find any unfair practices, traders could face imprisonment and a 140,000-baht fine, the ministry warned.

— Gazette Editors


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