investment thai2

May 21, 2024

BANGKOK – The Department of Business Development of Commerce Ministry held a meeting titled “Thailand’s Foreign Business Act, Update on Revision and Introduction of e-Foreign Business Service,” with 36 participants from 19 entities to explain foreign investment in Thailand.

Representatives were from various embassies, international organizations, and government agencies, including the Australian Embassy, the British Embassy, the EU, the Chinese Embassy, the Japanese Embassy, the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (IFCCT), the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO Bangkok), the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KORTA Bangkok), the European Association for Business and Commerce (EABC), the Office of the Board of Investment, and the Department of Trade Negotiations.

This system aims to facilitate investors and entrepreneurs and ensure they understand the business operations under the law, which mandates foreign shareholders to hold no more than 49 percent of shares. However, export-oriented manufacturing businesses are exempt from this law and fall under the jurisdiction of agencies like the Board of Investment (BOI).

Ms. Oramon Sapthaweetham, Director-General of the Department of Business Development, disclosed that on May 20, 2024, the department invited representatives from foreign embassies and trade associations in Thailand to explain the Foreign Business Act 1999 (B.E. 2542) to help foreign investors understand this law and invest in Thailand legally without any violations.

The department has developed an online registration system for companies and legal entities, expected to launch in July 2024. This service called ‘e-Foreign Business’, which is a system for foreign investors to apply for business licenses under the Foreign Business Act, to reduce the volume of documents and shorten the processing time.

It will provide a full range of electronic services, including submitting applications for foreign business licenses/certificates through online channels, electronic payment (e-Payment), electronic receipts (e-Receipt, electronic signatures (Digital Signature), and issuing electronic licenses/certificates (e-Foreign Business License/-Foreign Certificate).

“The department is also implementing the Ministry of Commerce’s policy to reform laws, especially foreign-related laws, which are crucial and require continuous review under

Annex 3 of the Foreign Business Act. The various representatives showed interest, and the overall reception did not indicate any need for modifications. This was the first time the department organized such a hearing,” she said.

The plan is to remove 10 service businesses from Annex 3 (21). These include telecommunications service businesses, such as those requiring a Type One Telecommunication Business License under the law on telecommunications business, treasury center businesses under the law on exchange control, which are businesses related to foreign currency management for companies in the affiliated group, and software development service businesses by juristic persons registered in Thailand.

After seeking feedback from stakeholders, Phumtham Wechayachai, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, is expected to give his approval within 1 to 2 months.

If the proposal is approved, it will be submitted to the Cabinet for further consideration.

Source: Khaosod English