Seventeen foreign firms approved for business, BOI approves five new projects for incentives

The Foreign Business Commission has approved 17 foreign firms’ investment in Thailand, valued at about 200 million baht, the new ventures will create over 500 jobs and transfer technological expertise to the country from firms in Japan, Singapore, and China. In January and February, the committee approved business operations and investments to 34 foreigners with a combined value of 395 million baht. Additionally, the Board of Investment approved investment incentives for five projects with a total investment of value of over 40,462 million baht. The five companies will be manufacturing tires, auto parts, offering aircraft maintenance at the U-Tapao facility, and Thai Lion Air which will be operating low-cost flights.

Three airlines are adding new domestic and international routes in March and April; Bangkok Airways is launching a new Chiang Mai – Krabi route from March 31 that will fly 3 times a week until April 30 when it will be daily, and increasing the frequency of its Chiang Mai – Luang Prabang route to three times a week. NokScoot, the joint-venture low-cost carrier of Thailand’s Nok Air and Singapore’s Scoot now flies from Don Mueang International Airport to Shanghai’s Pudong Airport and will fly daily starting March 4. Thai AirAsia is also expanding to Vietnam, adding a Chiang Mai – Da Nang route scheduled to fly daily from April 12. The low cost carrier is also adding new flights out of Don Mueang International airport flying to Vietnam with three flights a week to Can Tho and four flights a week to Nha Trang.

Thanachart Bank and Thai Military Bank (TMB) announced a merger, the new combined bank will have about 10 million customers. The merger is expected to be completed this year and shareholders will most likely include ING, Thanachart Capital and the Ministry of Finance which will inject up to 10 billion baht to maintain the current shareholder ratio in the new bank. It is unclear when the two banks will be merged as talks are ongoing but it could take place after the elections.

The Securities and Exchange Commission have removed three crypto currencies from the list of those allowed to offer initial coin offering investment; Bitcoin cash (BCH), Ethereum classic (ETC) and Litecoin (LTC) have all been removed from the list of accepted cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and Stellar (XLM) remain on the list and can be used for investing in ICOs and as a base trading pair for valuation of digital assets registered with digital asset exchanges.

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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