Half of all new condo purchases by foreigners in Bangkok by Chinese

Half of all new condo purchases by foreign buyers in Bangkok last year were made by Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong residents according to the online real estate portal Juwai.com. A large number of Chinese millennials are entering the South East Asian property market via online purchases, with about 22 percent purchasing properties sight unseen while about half purchase without first visiting the property. Chinese buyers tend to buy for investment purposes and rental income according to the site.

Thai consumer confidence remains high, with 57 percent of those surveyed by Nielsen saying they felt better off than they were five years ago. In 2018 the sales of fast moving consumer goods grew 4-5 percent while exports grew 7.2 percent and tourism 9 percent. Government investment grew five percent in the same period. Consumer lifestyles, even in the smaller provinces are changing and areas like Chonburi and Chiang Rai are expected to see rapid urbanization and growth by 2025. While the e-commerce market has grown it still remains at 1 percent of sales of fast moving consumer goods and in general consumers in South East Asia have a high rate of returns for online purchases. However, e-commerce remains a fast growing sector in the economy and the government is implementing measures to tax online businesses.

New low-cost carrier ZipAir Tokyo, a subsidiary of Japan Airlines, plans on opening a new route to Bangkok from Narita Airport in Tokyo. In a joint venture with Qantas, the airline plans on flying to Suvarnabhumi next year as well as to Incheon in South Korea. Bangkok Airways is also adding new domestic and international flights. Pushing Chiang Mai as a regional hub, the airline will begin flights to Luang Prabang daily at the end of April and direct Chiang Mai – Krabi flights at the end of this month. Air Asia is launching a new direct flight from Chiang Mai to Danang in April and from Bangkok to Can Tho and Nha Trang in Vietnam in May. Thai AirAsia withdrew from talks to purchase low cost carrier Nok Air after Thai regulators warned that the proposed acquisition could violate anti-trust laws.

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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