Four businesses being considered for removal from Foreign Business Act
The Commerce Ministry is considering removing four categories from List 3 of the Foreign Business Act; telecommunication services for a Type 1 license that is telecommunications business operator without its own network for services, treasury centers, aviation/aircraft maintenance, and software development. List 3 is "businesses in which Thai nationals are not yet ready to compete with foreigners". Foreign companies must apply for and obtain a foreign business license and shareholding is limited to 49 percent foreign ownership. If these activities are removed from the Foreign Business Act them foreign businesses will no longer be required to request a Foreign Business License to operate. The Director-General of the Business Development Department said that removal would complement the country's economic development strategy focused on high-value and high-tech businesses.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports will be proposing new tourism incentives to the Cabinet on October 7 including free re-entry permits for foreign tourists who visit neighboring countries by land transport and value-added tax (VAT) reductions for Thai tour operators who operate services for inbound tourists. The Ministry also plans on proposing a measure to make it easier for expatriates in Thailand to travel domestically without being required to report to authorities using the TM30 form. The Medical Hub Policy Administration Committee will also be proposing a 90-day visa free stay for Japanese and American nationals traveling to Thailand for medical procedures. Currently Thailand offers 90-day visa-free entry to medical tourists from 11 countries, including China, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam and six Arab countries. Currently citizens of these countries traveling to Thailand for medical services can enter for 90 days visa free along with three companions. South Korea, Belgium, Austria and New Zealand are currently being considered for the list and a 12 month Medical Tourism visa is being considered which would allow medical tourists one year with as many departures and re-entries as needed.
China’s Golden Week holiday starts October 1st through October 7th and arrivals in Thailand are predicted to rise with more than 250,000 Chinese visitors expected to travel to Thailand, up about 20 percent from the same period last year. Revenues are expected to be about 13 billion baht based on an average spending of 50,000 baht a day, similar to last year. Agoda reports that Thailand is the number 2 preferred destination for Golden Week after Japan. Top destinations in Thailand for Golden Week are Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Krabi, Koh Lanta, Hua Hin, Koh Lipe, and Pai.