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Commerce Ministry may open up 4 innovation sectors to foreigners

Sep 26. 2019
Poonpong Naiyanapakorn
Poonpong Naiyanapakorn
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By The Nation

The Commerce Ministry may remove four innovation related businesses from the list of businesses in which Thai citizens are deemed not ready to compete with foreigners under the Foreign Business Act, BE.1999. Such a move is expected to help increase accessibility for foreign companies and attract international investors.

Department of Business Development deputy director-general Poonpong Naiyanapakorn on Thursday (September 26) said they are looking to file an appeal to the Foreign Business Committee to remove four businesses from the list to invite more foreign companies to invest in Thailand. “These businesses are: Type 1 telecommunication service providers (without a dedicated network), treasury management centres, aircraft maintenance services for aircraft under the Air Navigation Act and their equipment, and development of high value-added software.”

According to Poonpong, removing these businesses from the list would make it easier and cheaper for foreign companies to apply for business licences in Thailand.

“As a result, it should invite more funds and future investments from foreign partners, as well as help boost the country’s innovation-related industries to an international standard,” said the deputy director-general.

Poonpong said that the reason behind the department’s decision was due to three out of the four business sectors already having they own regulating laws and governing authorities. Removing them from Foreign Business Act’s list should therefore reduce overlapping jurisdiction with other agencies.

“The telecommunication business is already under the regulations of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC),” he said. “Meanwhile, the treasury management business is monitored by the Bank of Thailand, and the aircraft service business is supervised by Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT),” he said.

“These four businesses are in alignment with the government’s 10 target industries to drive the country’s economic growth, especially the aircraft servicing and software development,” Poonpong added. “By making them more accessible to foreign investors, it will help Thailand to become an innovation and economic hub of Asean and move us closer toward the Thailand 4.0 target.”

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