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New Measures Mooted to Penalise Foreign Land Control and Consultants

New Measures Mooted to Penalise Foreign Land Control and ConsultantsMore nationalistic debate in Thailand continues on the issue of land ownership and control. Parliamentary discussions reported with proposals for a new bill to retroactively penalise foreigners and consultants who contravene laws on control through use of to date poorly defined ‘nominee’ structures. Such legislation has been proposed even though the Land Code already provides regulation on the matter of direct or indirect control, with further provisions relating to foreign businesses in the Foreign Business Act.  These debates have surfaced frequently over they last decade, often spurred by political change, turmoil or swings in sentiment from pro-foreign investment to anti-foreign investment. Whilst the Board of Investment (which allows foreign owned companies to own land under exemptions and privileges) sees a rise in foreign investment, the targets of such proposals appear to be businesses which are effectively meant to be Thai owned and controlled, but ultimately may not be so. As the Baht currently weakens, strong rumblings continue as to the unpreparedness of certain countries including Thailand in relation to the soon to be ‘implemented’ Asian Economic Community, any further ‘crackdown’ legislation, further penalising foreigners for having taken the risk of investing in an emerging market, be it in real estate of any other industry will most likely not be welcomed by the foreign investment community as retroactive enforcement is rarely a confidence building exercise. Clarity in general, a new form of land ownership regime, clearer rules at Land Offices and for company registrations, would assist foreigners become educated on what they can and can’t do in Thailand. English signs advertising ‘Land for Sale’ continue to appear prominently throughout popular tourist and resort destinations…

For more details on the source article relating to this blog article please see: http://www.thephuketnews.com/support-sought-for-bill-to-curb-foreign-land-grabbers-in-phuket-and-throughout-thailand-41479.php

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