Commerce Ministry looks to remove five services from Foreign Business Act restricted list

The Commerce Ministry plans on removing five services from List 3 on the Foreign Businesses Act which will allow foreigners to invest freely in these services without needing a license from the Commerce Ministry. List Three requires businesses to obtain a foreign business license and limits foreign shareholding to 49 percent. The five services that the Ministry will review in July for removal are accounting, legal services given to subsidiaries, space and facility rental, lending to subsidiaries and consulting services.

The first five months of the year saw 16.4 million overseas visitors according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, a 12.62 percent rise from the same period last year. Foreign arrivals spent a total of 867.46 million baht, a 16.11 percent year on year. More than 2.75 million foreign visitors arrived in May – a 6.35 percent increase year on year, generating 136.71 million baht in revenue. The top three foreign nationalities visiting Thailand were from China, Malaysia and India.

The Airports of Thailand board approved a proposal to build a second passenger terminal at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The plan will now be put to the Transport Ministry, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board and the cabinet for consideration. The AOT is implementing the 2nd stage of the airport’s development project to increase its capacity, currently the airport has the capacity to handle 45 million passengers a year and is looking to boost that to 65 million. The airport is already overcapacity and is expected to handle 65 million passengers a year, the new terminal would reduce overcrowding and allow for the airport to handle 90 million passengers a year, construction is expected to begin in 2019 and finish by 2021.

Spending on digital ads is expected to grow 16 percent to 14.3 billion baht this year on the back of more effective tools in reaching individuals, last year it grew by 31 percent and reached 12 billion baht. Automobiles and telecommunications top the spenders list followed by banks, skin care, non-alcoholic beverages and cosmetics. Dairy products, insurance, alcoholic beverages, hair preparations, vitamins and supplemental foods, and retail shops rounded out the top ten. Spending on print media and television has declined while digital television has seen growth.

Work Permit

Any foreigner working in Thailand must obtain a Work Permit before beginning work. While a prospective employer may file an application on the foreigner’s behalf in advance of his starting work, the actual Work Permit will not be issued until the foreigner has entered Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws and has presented himself to receive his Work Permit.

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