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Fruit dealers among businesses to be scrutinised for FBA breaches

THE BUSINESS Development Department will begin monitoring more closely three types of business under the Foreign Business Act



Pongpun Gearaviriyapun, director-general of the department, said yesterday that it would regularly send teams to inspect these three businesses and make sure they are not breaching the FBA by listing Thai nominees as major shareholders while foreigners are the true owners.
The close inspections are to ensure fair practice for Thais, the Commerce Ministry claims.
According to the department, many Chinese fruit dealers operating in Thailand are using the nominee dodge. Under the law, foreign dealers can only purchase fruits from farmers for export, and cannot sell them in the domestic market.
Meanwhile, the hot weather and long weekend in April caused a reduction in both the registration of new companies and business closures, the department reported.
The number of new business registrations last month dropped by 13 per cent year on year to 3,987, the lowest number so far in 2016, and down by 35 per cent from March.
However, Pongpun believes that more new businesses will register in May and the following months as entrepreneurs returned to do business as normal, thanks to the government’s investment projects, low interest rates and the growth of the tourism sector.
The department expects about 60,000-65,000 new companies to be established this year.
Initial investment capital last month also decreased by 16 per cent year on year, from Bt14.82 billion to Bt12.48 billion.
In the first four months of this year, the cumulative number of new registered companies declined by 2 per cent to 21,510.
Most of the new companies are engaged in construction, property development, machinery wholesaling, restaurants and food retailing, consulting, and hotels and resorts.
The department also reported that 897 companies shut down last month, down by 3 per cent year on year and by 24 per cent from March.
In the first four months, business closures dropped by 3 per cent year on year to 4,599.
More than 634,227 companies are actively operating in the country, of which 1,122 are public companies.

Published : May 13, 2016