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UK expats prefer Thailand as retirement destination

Only 13 per cent of UK expats intend to retire in the UK, and 5 per cent of all surveyed plan to spend the retirement in Thailand, according to a recent study by Alliance & Leicester International.

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Only 13 per cent of UK expats intend to retire in the UK, and 5 per cent of all surveyed plan to spend the retirement in Thailand, according to a recent study by Alliance & Leicester International.

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In the report obtained by The Nation, 400,000, UK expats are voting with their feet and choosing to retire abroad according to findings from Alliance & Leicester International (ALIL). France (18 per cent) is the most popular retirement destination for expats followed by Spain (13 per cent) and then the UK (12 per cent).

5% of UK expats names Thailand as retirement destination

5% of UK expats names Thailand as retirement destination

However, while 88 per cent of expats intend to retire abroad, access to UK based family and friends still appears to be important with 57 per cent intending to retire in Europe. Indeed, 10 per cent of expats cited being away from family and friends as a major barrier to retiring outside the UK.

Further afield, Thailand (5 per cent), the US (4 per cent) and New Zealand (3 per cent) are all potential retiree destinations. Expats intend to fund their new lives in the sun through a variety of methods including savings (27 per cent), UK State Pension (23 per cent) and private pensions (20 per cent). Property is a big source of retirement funding for expats with 6 per cent relying on rental income, 6 per cent intending to sell a residential investment and 2 per cent planning to take out an equity release plan.

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5% of UK expats names Thailand as retirement destination

Infrastructure services, if quickly improved, could promote a better investment climate in Thailand

Regulations and bureaucratic procedures that firms have reported as severely affecting their businesses and investment decisions were mainly on delays in tax refunds, uncertainties around the time taken to clear customs or obtain permits and certifications, and uncertainties around regulatory policies.

The delays in tax refunds referred to both value-added tax refunds and import tax refunds for exporters. The Revenue Department and Customs Department have been introducing programs and employed internet-based services to reduce the time taken to do so. However, few firms have participated in these programs or have benefited from the services. On the other hand, the average number of days needed to clear import customs or obtain permits is not exceptionally high in Thailand compared to other countries.

Doing business in Thailand

Infrastructure plays a crucial role in economic development and enrichment of living standards. Various stages of economic development require different levels of infrastructure upgrades or enhancements to ensure infrastructure in fact facilitates economic activities. Thailand has been facing a series of infrastructure challenges, both new and well-established. To name a few: there is a need for infrastructure services to catch up with economic development and international competition, manage the growth in urban areas, respond to global energy prices, and ensure basic services for the poor.

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