FBA : “it’s not possible for the government to touch the law”

Good news. The will to amend the Foreign Business Act (long story, read my special dossier) is vanishing… victim of the current tricky and highly volatile politicial situation.

But it might be temporary. Governements change quickly in Thailand… 😉

The Foreign Business Act (FBA) amendments proposed by the previous military-backed government will not be pursued by the current administration, said Suwit Khunkitti, the deputy prime minister and industry minister.

Mr Suwit offered the reassurance in an address to the Asia and Europe Partnership and Opportunities luncheon held yesterday by the Belgian-Luxembourg/Thai Chambers of Commerce.

He said the Samak Sundaravej government would do everything to ensure convenience for foreign investors.

The confirmation came in response to concerns voiced by European chambers, EU ambassadors and foreign businessmen, who were unclear on the Samak government’s stance on the FBA.

The FBA amendments would create unfavourable investment conditions in Thailand, and it is not possible for the government to touch the act when it wants foreign investors to help GDP growth reach the 6% target,” Mr Suwit said.

The previous government had sought to toughen the FBA and its enforcement because of what it saw as abuses of loopholes through the use of Thai nominees by foreign businesses.

The amendments, which died when the government’s term expired, could have forced thousands of foreign companies to restructure their business ownership, which prompted widespread frustration in the foreign business community. (Bangkok Post)

But still, it’s a confirmation that everybody know that there are -big- loopholes (nominees, dual shares system, read here).

The issue will come back. Probably.

But later. 😉

Another statement, this time from the Commerce Minister (via Bangkok Pundit).

All revisions to Thailand’s Foreign Business Act (FBA), which would have brought tighter rules for outside investors, have been scrapped, Commerce Minister Mingkwan Sangsuwan said on Friday.

“Why close the door to foreign investment? That’s why I don’t bring it back,” he told Reuters, referring to the controversial revisions which have been in legislative limbo since last year.

“Don’t worry. No more. Finished,” he said. (Reuters)

Because of the “performances” of the Commerce Minister, particularily with the prices controls policy (read here), I don’t trust him… He has also some totally idiotic ideas (to patent… the “full moon party” !)… I mean this guy is a living joke. And apparently, he’s in a weak position versus Samak (about the rice problem).

So I repeat a basic rule in Thailand : what is true today… can change tomorrow. 😉

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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