Foreign investments

Thailand set to attract foreign investment

The government plans to revise various regulations in immigration, foreign affairs and other areas to attract more foreign direct investment next year.

The legislative changes will also cover foreign workers, excise duties, town planning, biodiversity, the film and video sector and the energy sector, including infrastructure and alternative energy.

The government aims to complete at least 85% of the revisions proposed under its “regulatory guillotine” program by next year, a government source said.

The Public Sector Development Commission is on a mission to make doing business in Thailand much easier than it is today.

Existing laws and related regulations weigh on businesses and consumers to the tune of about 142 billion baht ($4.7 billion) annually.

The Thai Development Research Institute predicts that revisions to laws and regulations would reduce annual costs by 55.2% or 133 billion baht ($4.4 billion) for consumers and by 22.4% or 9 billion baht ($299 million) for businesses.

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The government hopes these revisions will help move Thailand up the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking from its current 21st place to the top 10.

Foreign and local companies have long complained about the financial burdens of complying with Thai bureaucracy, but the government has been slow to deregulate. Foreign investors have pushed for “friendlier” laws on immigration, foreign business and taxation, The Nation Thailand said.