Abhisit : “no change to Foreign Business Act”

At last. At last the new Prime Minister gives something, a bone, to the foreign business community. No change to the FBA.

The lunatic Junta wanted to amend this law… They almost did. You can follow this epic fight in my special dossier.

We had a great fun… And eventually this bunch of nationalist conservators were defeated. Badly.

Anyway. I think it’s fair to add that Abhisit had no choice. He was certainly not in a position to amend this law… 😉

Particularly when the economy is tanking and when the thai goverment is going to beg and borrow money outside Thailand (more on this issue, later).

We could regret that Abhisit didn’t take the opportunity… on the contrary… to relax the FBA… and its obsolete and ridiculous 3 lists (read here).

I’m speaking of course about the third list… “the business which Thai nationals are not yet ready to compete with foreigners“… from accounting, to hotel, to tour guide, restaurants, bars, retailing…

Apparently the thai government is not ashamed to present its citizen like dumb people who are unable to run a restaurant, a bar, a hotel or… to do accounting work (in thai…).

Most of this list is totally absurd and is an insult to thais.


But the reality of this mediocre government is : don’t ask too much… 😉 And don’t expect too much.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva last night reassured the foreign business community his administration would not amend or modify the Foreign Business Act, because it wanted to maintain an investment-friendly atmosphere.

He spoke at a dinner hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (Amcham).

The premier told the gathering of more than 600 US and other foreign business people Thailand would continue to pursue a path of democracy and free-market economics while seeking to restore domestic harmony and international confidence in the Kingdom. (Nation)

4 Responses to “Abhisit : “no change to Foreign Business Act””

  1. 1 Bedwyr 4 February 2009 at 2:51 am

    Yes, but can we believe hi? His track record for honesty, transparency and objectivity is in tatters after only 1 month in office. Hardly a promising start.

    An old saying but a true one that you can’t believe anything until it has been officially denied.


  2. 2 Lloyd 4 February 2009 at 4:08 am

    The Government has been making their presence felt in other ways, the IT sector for one is on notice that the current freedom with which companies develop and sell software within Thailand may be subject to new licensing requirements, especially financial and communications software. As bizzare as it may sound also includes a requirement to make source code available for “review” by the ICT and relevant ministries, or other agencies on behalf of the Government.

    Current regulations in place on the export of rice means the Government can nullify any existing export agreement or contract if it so deems the trade to be against the nations interests, with no legal recourse for the effected parties.

    Free trade to most Thai’s means the freedom for them to trade as they wish and for others to only trade how the Thai’s wish them too.

  3. 3 chinesethai 4 February 2009 at 11:09 am

    I think Thailand’s public interest is our top concern. Abhisit is doing the right thing in this case. I don’t feel ashamed at all. And I believe other Thais don’t have any objection to his decision.

    It is understandable that foreign investors are complaining but they do obviously have other alternative destinations such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia or Vietnam. So why are they still choosing Thailand? Because Thailand has other bigger advantages that they can’t resist – climate, location, people, attractions, etc.

    I am quite amused to see many farangs, especially in some other forums, who regularly complain about Thailand’s inferior democracy, coup, human right, lese majeste law, pollution, etc, remain in this country and do not any plan for departure for good. Right, Bedwyr?

  4. 4 ThaiCrisis 4 February 2009 at 6:40 pm

    You didn’t understand my point : I would feel ashamed if my government tells me that I’m not ready to compete with foreigners… for hotel, restaurant, bar, tour guide businesses etc….

    If you’re not then you have a low opinion of your fellow country men.

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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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