New money for the residency regime from 2022

There are fears that the new program could be used as a vehicle by wealthy Chinese investors to take over businesses and properties in the hospitality and tourism industry that are currently in distress as the planned government bailout of the sector falters. and is unlikely to reach the levels seen before. the start of the pandemic crisis in March 2020.

The government is targeting its long-term visa program that will grant residency to wealthy people investing in the kingdom and high income earners with advanced skills, to be operational from early next year. It is understood that talks are underway between the Home Office and the Ministry of Finance on the sensitive issue of amending the regulations on real estate property to provide such rights to up to 1 million people in the country. world that the government hopes to attract to come to live, invest and work in Thailand as part of the economy.

Government spokeswoman Ratchada Thanadirek told reporters on Saturday that talks were already underway among senior officials to implement the new long-term visa and residency option for wealthy investors and high-income foreigners who wish to come and live in Thailand. She said the new visas could be available for January 2022.

A government spokeswoman confirmed on Saturday that authorities are accelerating the implementation of a program to attract 1 million well-off foreigners to live in Thailand by 2026.

The plan, according to Ms Ratchada Thanadirek, is for the new long-term visa to be offered to people around the world from early 2022.

This will include measures, which will be launched immediately, to change Thailand’s severely restrictive property laws that currently prohibit foreigners from owning land or controlling more than 50% of condominium developments and limited companies.

The package aims to generate 1 trillion yen of GDP per year for the economy

The measures, approved in principle by the cabinet last Tuesday, aim to generate more than 1 trillion yen per year by the end of 2026 and will be monitored by the National Council for Economic and Social Development (NESDC).

New plan for Thai economy could see elite foreign visa program generate up to 6% of GDP

Four groups will be eligible for the new visas, including high net worth investors, retirees moving to Thailand, highly skilled and skilled workers coming to work in the kingdom, and skilled entrepreneurs with valuable skills, knowledge or intellectual property.

Ongoing discussion among senior officials on how to allow licensed foreigners to acquire land and property

The government spokeswoman said that talks between the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Finance have already started on the issue of allowing these specially designated foreigners to acquire land and identify the necessary conditions that should be committed to the proposal.

Ms Ratchada appeared to suggest that the program could go ahead in January 2022, with the issue of land ownership advancing at this point but not finalized.

She told reporters that she could not give more details although there was speculation that some concessions could also be made to the spouses of Thai nationals under this new regime.

The plan is to stimulate foreign investment and broaden the tax base as part of a national strategy to transform the kingdom’s economy into a high-income economy

The program also aims to generate increased investment in the kingdom at a rate of 800 billion yen per year, in addition to the 270 billion yen per year in additional tax revenue from new residents.

The government spokeswoman told reporters that this was part of the national strategy that was outlined in 2018 and which aims to make Thailand a high-income economy by 2037.

Central Bank to Lower GDP Growth Forecast as Focus Shifts to Private Sector Debt Management

The problem with this goal is that the kingdom will need to rapidly increase the annual expansion of GDP after the cataclysmic 6.1% contraction of the economy last year, which is expected to be followed this year by another contraction or at least. better, a GDP gain of less than 1%. .

Rising private sector debt is the main concern of the Bank of Thailand and properties in the tourism industry are at the heart of the problem with many people in distress

The country also has a chronic problem with rising household debt levels and increasing private sector borrowing, which the Bank of Thailand identified as its top priority at the start of the year.

The response to this from bank officials includes plans to launch an asset warehousing program and an effective support mechanism for dealing with commercial operators within the devastated foreign tourism industry where many loans guaranteed by properties and assets are still under a debt moratorium and will need to be restructured. .

Many tourism-related businesses and properties are currently in a state of financial distress.

Malfunction strikes Thailand’s reopening to tourism as Minister of Health rejects October 1 date

This has long been seen as dependent on the kingdom reopening before the end of 2021 to foreign tourism at sustainable levels, which looks increasingly unlikely as the pandemic crisis continues.

The reopening to foreign tourism falters

This week, the country’s planned reopening looked increasingly fragile as Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul warned that the reopening scheduled for October may have to be postponed as the Phuket Sandbox unfolds amid a crisis. growing viral on the island. himself.

The plan would be for a trial period of 5 years

At Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, it was agreed that the investment program would be subject to review every 5 years by the National Council for Economic and Social Development.

This would include all of the accompanying legal measures, including the proposed relaxation of the property ban.

Pattaya hospitality boss warning of Chinese takeover, loss of revenue for the wider Thai economy

Details of the new program came just days after hospitality industry leader Phisut Sae-khu urgently called for a suspension of debt repayments for hotel owners in Pattaya until what the foreign tourism industry is recovering and warned that Chinese investors were waiting behind the scenes to move in.

Thailand’s tourism industry could follow the same path as Cambodia and Sihanoukville, where 90 percent of the resort’s hotels and businesses are Chinese-owned.

It is clear that the new program would benefit these investors and could see Thailand’s strategically important and valuable tourism economy follow that of Cambodia, where Chinese investors have come to dominate the development of the industry.

A 2019 survey and information revealed by the provincial authorities of Preah Sihanouk in Cambodia showed that 90% of businesses in the popular tourist resort of Sihanoukville, including hotels, casinos, restaurants and massage parlors, were owned by companies. Chinese investors.

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Further reading:

New plan for Thai economy could see elite foreign visa program generate up to 6% of GDP

Economic plan to bring smiles back to Thailand’s appeal to western foreigners to live and work

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