Preserve Thai land
Re: "Selling the family silver?", (Editorial, Sept 27).
Thailand does not allow direct foreign ownership of land. Since I am a foreigner, this policy works against my interests as I would love to own a freehold home in Thailand. But I have always admired this Thai policy because it protects the interests of Thai citizens. That is precisely what the government should be doing.
In many countries worldwide, there are appalling numbers of empty homes and properties purchased by investors. They may not need to live there, and they may never intend to. But when investors purchase property, it becomes unavailable for would-be homeowners.
I also have a different point of view to offer. Market competition can be beneficial and improve efficiency, but the global and domestic economies must be considered separately to protect Thai citizens. Foreign investors will gladly walk through any door you leave open. As I mentioned, I would like to buy a freehold house. What do you think would happen if investors were offered a choice between apartments and land? Would any foreigner ever buy another condo? How many well-heeled foreigners might there be worldwide that are capable of investing a few million dollars in an infrequently used "vacation home" upcountry? And what would this scenario do to the price of real estate for average Thais, not to mention the poorest and most at-risk?
Thailand appears to be taking reasoned steps towards rebuilding the economy. I am gratified that although there are differences of opinion about what approaches to take and what to prioritise, there is a vibrant, spirited debate and well-intentioned effort. Please do not compromise Thai ownership of the country for a one-time gain of foreign investment. Preserve Thai land for Thailand.