Preventing foreigners from owning land and property in Thailand does many things: it protects powerful Thai landlords and agricultural monopolies, forces overseas investors to consider setting up shop in other regional markets, drives Thai capital from the country and provides a pool of nationalist bile for tub-thumping politicians to draw on and whip up a frenzy of anti-foreigner sentiment at the drop of a hat.

There are understandable concerns that easing regulations would enable foreign multinationals to snap up agricultural land, drive up rents and force farmers from their land.

What it does not do, however, is support the development of a sustainable and competitive local economy.


The Land Act and the Foreign Business Act (FBA) are the two main laws restricting the foreign ownership of businesses and land, capping the maximum foreign share at 49% in most cases.

The FBA has its roots in the Revolutionary Party's Announcement of National Executive Council No. 281 issued in 1972 by the then military government. This was a time when waves of refugees and immigrants were flooding in from China and the legislation was passed to prevent newcomers from poaching jobs as hairdressers and tuk-tuk drivers from Thais.

via Keeping foreigners out serves whose interests?.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get notified of our weekly selection of news

You May Also Like

Top 50 APAC firms lose $900 billion market capitalization in Q3 2022

In Q3, 80% of the top 50 companies reported a decline in MCap from the previous quarter. Geo-political issues between the US and China over Taiwan, government regulations on tech stocks, and prolonged mass lockdowns impacted the Chinese market

Thailand’s Board of Investment approves new Categories for Promotion Strategy

Following the relaxation, feasibility studies will only be required for projects with an investment value of 2.0 billion baht or more (excluding the cost of land and working capital), compared to 750 million baht previously.

The Philippines’ 12th Foreign Investment Negative List: Implications for Foreign Investors

The Philippines’ 12th Regular Foreign Investment Negative List was issued in June…