The government must speed up efforts to remove several thousand unnecessary laws that hinder business activities to help Thailand draw more foreign investment, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
Authorities have already begun to amend or remove outdated laws, but the process has been slow, which may cause Thailand to lose opportunities to improve its economy, according to the federation.
The so-called regulatory guillotine focuses on removing unnecessary legal procedures required for doing business in Thailand, as well as reducing required paperwork.
"If the government accelerates its work, it will make Thailand more attractive to prospective foreign investors," said Kriengkrai Thiennukul, chairman of the FTI.
Foreign investors want the government to facilitate the establishment and operation of businesses, as they want to invest here, he said.
The FTI and the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) have already discussed with authorities the serious need to remove outdated laws that are blamed for causing investment and business expansion to grow slowly.
The JSCCIB hired Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) to look into the issue and study the regulatory guillotine framework. Its findings were proposed to the Prayut Chan-o-cha government.
The TDRI estimated that more than 100,000 laws on the books have hamstrung many aspects of business activities.
Officials have tried to remove these laws, but only managed to reduce around 38% of them, said the FTI.
This is too slow as the target is to reduce unnecessary laws from 100,000 to 1,000, according to the federation.
The regulatory guillotine is needed as the government promotes large projects such as the Eastern Economic Corridor, which aims to develop parts of Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao into Thailand's high-tech industrial hub, hosting 12 targeted S-curve industries, including next-generation car production and smart electronics.
Foreign investors also want to learn more about the economic policies of the Srettha Thavisin government to plan their investment direction in Thailand, said Mr Kriengkrai.
Up to 300 foreign investors from large companies were invited by the FTI to join a forum in Bangkok on Nov 1 to learn first-hand information about state policies from government representatives.
Many investors wanted the FTI to organise the forum because they were keen to hear directly from the government on investment promotion, he said.