Cabinet announces two new public holidays

The Cabinet has designated two new national holidays; the birthday of HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun on July 28 is now a holiday as well as October 13 to memorialize the passing of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Coronation Day on May 5 will no longer be a holiday.

The Prime Minister invoked Section 44 to amend the Public Limited Companies Act to enable minority shareholders to more easily call for an extraordinary shareholder meeting in 45 days to install new board members or executive appointments. Previously the law required that at least 25 minority shareholders holding a combined value of 10 percent were needed to call an extraordinary meeting. The amendment will allow shareholders who hold at least 10 percent of the total, regardless of the number of shareholders, to call for an extraordinary meeting. The Prime Minister is enacting the amendment as several large listed firms face shareholder conflicts over board seats and management disrupting business in some. The new amendment should also improve Thailand’s score on corporate governance with the World Bank as it protects minority shareholder rights.

Japan’s Credit Rating Agency reported Thailand’s credit rating and outlook remain strong and will retain the country’s A + credit rating and an A – as a foreign-currency long-term issuer with a stable outlook and a local-currency long-term issuer rating of an A with a stable outlook. The rating agency reported that it sees Thailand’s financial position is firm under the current government’s implementation of strict financial discipline despite a rise in expenditure in fiscal 2017 and higher public debt. The agency said the country’s commercial banks are strong and recognized their efficiency in manage non-performing loans and risky assets.

The Department of Business Development is calling on all businesses to offer consumers the ability to pay by at least one card noting that there are a range of options including Electronic Draft Capture (EDC) machines or the Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) machines. The government will provide benefits for those acquiring the machines such as installation fee waivers and various tax incentives and businesses can apply at any commercial bank that is registered by the Ministry of Finance for installation.

Japan is looking to revive the Trans Pacific Partnership and add all ASEAN nations to the agreement. Negotiations are expected to start in early May in Canada.  The TPP was signed in February 2016 by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam; Japan is looking to add the remaining ASEAN countries to the deal. Japan, which is aiming to expand free trade, is also in talks on the 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which includes the 10 Asean states plus China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

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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