Thailand rises up Ease of Doing Business world rankings

Thailand’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business list rose from 27 to 21 this year out of the 190 countries surveyed. Thailand scored an overall 80.10, coming close to Malaysia with 81.50 and ranked 12th. The country has eased obtaining construction permits by cutting 19 procedures to 14 and cutting waiting times from 118 days to 113 days bringing the country up to 34th in construction from 67 previously. The country also improved in protecting minority investors pushing the ranking in this category up to third from 15 last year. While Thailand came in sixth for obtaining electricity it was ranked at 47 for starting a business. Starting a business in Thailand remains complex and Sunbelt Asia’s lawyers are here to help navigate the many procedures required. Call for more information.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) reports that Indian tourists are expected to reach a record high of 2 million this year, up from 1.59 million in 2018, thanks to the exemption for the 2,000-baht visa-on-arrival (VOA) fees. In the first 9 months of the year 1.47 million Indians travelled to Thailand showing 25.6 percent growth year-on-year, with tourism income of 62 billion baht, up by 31 percent. Average spending was at 45,600 baht per trip or 5,700 baht per day, with tourists from India staying around 5-7 days. Of those around 67 percent are independent travelers with families.

Bangkok has been ranked No.1 in the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI) for international overnight visitors for the fourth straight year, and the sixth time in the past decade. It is the only country with three cities in the top 20; Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya. Annual international overnight visitors spent more than US$20 billion in Bangkok, a 15 percent increase from 2017, Phuket visitors spent more than $12 billion, a 9 percent increase from the previous year. Visitors from Germany topped beach and island destinations with Phangnga the highest at 25.1 percent followed by Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Chang (11.3%). Koh Phangan joined the top 100 for Asia-Pacific at 96 and Hat Yai jumped to 31.

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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