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  • The Letter of the Foreign Community to Thai Somchai (Santa) Claus

    April 15 2014

    I wish you all a Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2010 and I hope that we will see many of you in Thailand next year. Now if Somchai (Santa) Claus was Thai what would be the wish list of the Foreign Community in Thailand?

    Speaking of Xmas it is funny but while I know that the Xmas mood is still alive and kicking everywhere else I find it really difficult to catch it while in Thailand. Not that the shopping centers are not trying their best to put us in the right mood, I mean from end of November until mid January you cannot enter a shopping center in Thailand without hearing a best off of Christmas songs or looking at fake Christmas trees but at the end of the day and despite all the commercial centers best efforts it does not feel real (maybe I miss the cold and the snow) to the contrary I find this weird.

    This being said back to the subject of the day that is to say the wish list of the foreign currency to Somchai (Santa) Claus. What could we hope for? The first thing that comes into mind is an end to the bitter political conflict that has affected Thailand for the past 2 years and half but I think we have this in common with most Thai people that also would this both sides making peace. Wishes specifics to foreign investors would be:

    1. a leasehold period of 60 to 90 years instead of 30 years renewable,
    2. an extension of the condominium foreign freehold ownership quota from 49% to 75% in location such as Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui.
    3. A long stay visa that would permit wealthy citizens below 50 years old  and that do not want to do business in Thailand or invest 10,000,000 THB in Thailand to stay there long term
    4. To allow foreign director(s) of newly set up companies to apply for a work permit upon the incorporation of the company and even if the company does not have yet 4 Thai employees.
    5. A review of the Foreign Business Act List 3 that restricts foreign investments is sectors where Thai are deemed “not ready to compete”.  Thai are definitively ready to compete in many sectors such as restaurants, bar businesses and so on… and the restriction is not justified anymore.  
    6. A review of the process and formalities applicable when applying for a Business License for businesses listed under FBA list 3.

    I know it seems that I’m asking for a lot but at the end of the day Thailand would be the first to benefit from those measures that would definitively dynamize foreign investment in Thailand.

    Once Again Happy Christmas to All

    About the Author:

    The author Rene-Philippe DUBOUT is a lawyer since 1990 when he was admitted to Geneva bar (Switzerland). He practiced as a litigator there for 10 years until he moved to Thailand in 1999. In 2002 he founded with a group of Thai lawyers Rene Philippe & Partners Ltd a local law firm that specialized in Cross Borders Investments and Real Estate. He has been lecturing in several Thai Universities and a speaker to numerous conferences and seminars. He is the author of a must read book:”How to Purchase Real Estate Offshore Safely: The Case of Thailand”.


    © Copyrights 2009 – Rene Philippe Dubout – This article may be reprinted if information about the author, the websites, and the URLs remain intact


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