The Commerce Ministry will not amend the Foreign Business Act (FBA) to more strictly control foreign management in local businesses, in order to keep Thailand attractive to foreign investors.
Foreign investors attend a meeting with the Department of Business Development, which sought their opinions on proposed amendments to the Foreign Business Act, in November. (Photo by Thanarak Khunton)
Pongpun Gearaviriyapun, director-general of the Department of Business Development, said on Tuesday that the department concluded the FBA should not be changed this year, to comply with the government's intention to attract more foreign investment to the country.
The department based its conclusion on reactions from government agencies and business representatives in late last year.
Earlier, it had been proposed to amend the FBA to look into the actual roles of foreign management, apart from their official shareholding structures, to prevent them from overly dominating businesses in Thailand.
Mrs Pongpun said Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikulya agreed with the decision to leave the law intact as it is.
In addition, the Department of Business Development will no longer require that the forming of financial institutions, banks and insurance firms must seek approval from the Foreign Business Board. Other laws and authorities already controlled the establishment of those businesses, Mrs Pongpun said.
However, the Foreign Business Board would retain its authority to approve or deny the formation of related businesses of financial institutions, banks and insurance firms, such as leasing businesses, she said.
Mrs Pongpun denied the ministry had been pressured into its decision by foreign investors. She said the decision were aimed at supporting the government's intention to attract new foreign investment at a time of economic slowdown.