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Government revise immigration, business laws to lure foreign investors

The government plans to revise key laws and regulations covering immigration, foreign business and other sectors next year in order to draw more foreign direct investment.

The revisions will also cover foreign workers, excise tax, city planning, biodiversity, the movie and video business, and energy sector including infrastructure and alternative energy.

The government aims to achieve at least 85 per cent of the revisions targeted under its “regulatory guillotine” scheme next year, according to a government source. 

The Public Sector Development Commission has led the mission to make doing business in Thailand much easier than it is today.

Businesses and consumers are currently burdened with high costs from complying with these laws and related regulations, estimated to total Bt142 billion annually.

The Thailand Development Research Institute projects that the revisions of laws and regulations would lower annual costs by 55.2 per cent or Bt133 billion for consumers and 22.4 per cent or Bt9 billion for businesses.

The government is hoping the revisions will help lift Thailand in the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” rankings from its current 21st place into the top 10.

Foreign and local businesses have long complained about cost burdens stemming from complying with Thai bureaucracy, but the government has been slow to deregulate. Foreign investors have pressed for “friendlier” laws on immigration, foreign business and tax.

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