Thailand to offer land ownership to lure wealthy foreigners

Thailand to offer land ownership to lure wealthy foreigners

Bangkok seen from the 76th floor of King Power Mahanakhon Building. Foreigners would be allowed to fully own residential land in Thailand under a plan still to be approved by the cabinet. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Bangkok seen from the 76th floor of King Power Mahanakhon Building. Foreigners would be allowed to fully own residential land in Thailand under a plan still to be approved by the cabinet. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Thailand will allow wealthy foreigners to fully own land for residential use, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Friday, seeking to boost its economy by attracting a million new big-spending residents from overseas.

Thailand has for decades been a popular expatriate destination for investment, retirement and for starting small businesses, but foreign land ownership has been restricted.

Subject to cabinet approval, foreign nationals will be permitted to own up to one1 rai (0.16 hectares) from September, providing they invest 40 million baht or more in Thai property, securities or funds over three years, the spokesman said.

The government is keen to attract more skilled workers and retirees and the proposal would include some tax benefits and a 10-year visa.

The scheme would be reviewed after five years. Its aim is to add  one trillion baht to the economy and boost investment by 800 billion baht, Mr Thanakorn said.

The government expects the economy to grow 3.5% this year and reach pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

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