Thailand setting up one-stop-shop for foreign investors

To ease doing business, Thailand’s government will set up a one-stop-shop for foreign firms and individuals investing in the Kingdom in response to feedback that the process could be simpler and faster.

Establishing the one-stop service center will be the first item on the agenda of a new subcommittee on resolving obstacles and facilitating investment. Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, former President and Chief Executive Officer of PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), will head the committee.

Foreign executives had advised the government that the process of establishing a business in Thailand is more cumbersome and time-consuming than necessary. Currently, to receive permission to invest, they need to apply to four government agencies: Board of Investment (BOI), Revenue Department, Business Development Department, Ministry of Commerce, and Bank of Thailand.

The one-stop service center will combine the work of all those agencies under one roof, simplifying matters for investors.

“The move to make investment more convenient should help in attracting foreign inflows,” said Narit Therdsteerasukdi, BOI Secretary-General.

Thailand ranks 21st among 190 nations in terms of ease of doing business, according to an annual report issued by the World Bank. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has made improving the Kingdom’s ease of doing business a priority, and the effort has borne fruit. In 2018, Thailand was ranked 27th by the World Bank, six places lower than today.

Greater ease of doing business adds to Thailand’s investment appeal along with its strategic location, cost-effective workforce, openness to trade and investment, plentiful modern infrastructure, and investment promotions and incentives.

The new center will handle investment promotion applications, work permit applications, business registration and the opening of accounts for financial transactions.

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