Chiang Mai frets over foreign nominees

Tourists take photos at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai province. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Tourists take photos at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai province. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Tourism operators in Chiang Mai are calling for the revision of laws and regulations to maintain fair competition and protect local businesses from Chinese merchants using Thai nominees.

Punlop Saejew, president of the Tourism Council of Chiang Mai, said local business operators face stiff (competition)competition with some enterprises suspected of acting as nominees for foreigners.

Mr Punlop said this problem is hard to tackle as these suspected enterprises are often legally registered, with 51% Thai ownership, even though in practice the whole investment has been allocated by foreign investors.

He said without laws that regulate foreign businesses and nominees during registration, the business environment in Thailand would be perceived as unfavourable, particularly with crackdowns against only a few cases in the public spotlight.

He urged the government to discuss the issue, calling for a law that allows 100% foreign shareholders for small- and medium-sized businesses in the tourism sector.

Strictly enforcing regulations, such as setting a fixed tax rate or mandating local employment, with regular inspections to prove transparency, will help create fair competition between locals and foreign businesses, not only in Chiang Mai, but also in other cities that face a similar problem, said Mr Punlop.

Learn from listening

Click play to listen to audio for this story, or download to save the file
: :


  • allocate (verb): to officially give something to someone - จัดสรร, จัดแบ่ง
  • enforce : to make sure laws are obeyed - บังคับให้ใช้, บังคับให้ทำ, ใช้กำลังบังคับให้ปฏิบัติตาม
  • enterprise: an organisation, especially a business - กิจการ, บริษัท,อุตสาหกิจ,วิสาหกิจ
  • fret: to worry - วิตกกังวล
  • in practice (adjective): the way things are really done - การปฏิบัติ
  • nominee: a legal arrangement whereby investments are held by a a person or company on behalf of the real owner - ผู้รับถือหุ้นให้บุคคลอื่นที่ไม่ต้องการจะเปิดเผยตัวตน
  • operator (noun): a person or company that runs a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ
  • register: to be officially recorded as ... -
  • regulate: to control an activity officially - ควบคุม
  • shareholder: a person who owns some of the equal parts into which the ownership of a company is divided - ผู้ถือหุ้น
  • stiff (competition) (adj): difficult competition; difficult to win - การแข่งขันที่รุนแรง
  • tackle: to make an organised and determined attempt to deal with something - จัดการ, รับมือ
  • transparency: an honest way of doing things that allows other people to know exactly what you are doing - ความโปร่งใส
  • unfavourable: not good and likely to cause problems or make something more difficult; showing that you do not approve of or like somebody/something - ซึ่งไม่น่าพอใจ, ซึ่งไม่เป็นผล
Do you like the content of this article?