Expat Pay Packages Jump in 2018

Thailand still led the pack as the Least Miserable Economy again this year on Bloomberg’s Misery Index which evaluates inflation and unemployment rates to determine the misery levels of various economies. The index released this year is based on forecasts by economists, while the last year scores are based on actual data. Thailand’s low unemployment rates and low inflation accounted for the ranking. Singapore, which came second last year, was overtaken by Switzerland which is forecast to rise two places from number 4 last year. Venezuela topped the list as World’s Most Miserable Economy.

The MyExpatriate Market Pay report showed that the pay and benefits for expatriate saw a major increase in 2018 with the overall package of an average overseas worker increasing by US$27,917 year on year. The report ranks factors such as salary, benefits, and tax. Thailand’s salaries remained in line with most other countries, while benefits were average the tax rate was lower than many other countries on the report with Japan having the highest taxes for expat employees.

A recent CEO survey conducted by Oxford Business Group (OBG) in four Asean emerging markets showed that Thai CEOs are generally quite positive about key indicators, including transparency for conducting business, access to credit, and the competitiveness of the domestic tax regime. Thailand saw more confidence from CEOs about future investment with 81 percent saying their firm was likely to make a significant capital investment in the next year, lower than the 75 percent in the Philippines.

New business registrations hit nearly 6,000 in April with a total registered capital of 15 billion baht and May is forecast to be higher than in April. So far this year 32,000 new businesses have registered with the Department of Business Development and that number is expected to exceed 70,000 for the entire year. Most of the new businesses registered in April are in Bangkok and neighboring provinces and support the government’s electric train construction projects, followed by other construction, real estate, and tourism-related projects in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

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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