In terms of capital market development, modifying the taxation system in order to remove distortions, rationalizing the regulatory environment, improving cross-agency communication, enhancing enforcement, and encouraging product innovation are needed.

“I see 2011 being a good year for business, and a positive year for the Thai economy. If the country could further enhance regulations in the specific areas Amcham has suggested, Thailand will continue as a competitive trading partner within Asean,” Peter Eliot, the new Amcham president, said recently.

Eliot said customs reform and changes in tax regulations are just a few of the issues that could assist Thailand in gaining a competitive edge. Another is skilled labour development to facilitate investment expansion.

Shortages in labour, especially skilled labour, could be one of the barriers to rapid growth. It is not only a problem for Amcham members, but also other foreign investors and even local employers.

Amcham has over 650 corporate members investing US$35 billion (Bt1.1 trillion) in Thailand and giving more than 200,000 Thais good and competitive positions.

Issues do arise when conducting business, and Amcham hopes incidents such |as Map Ta Phut will not occur |in the future, as these circumstances often weaken investor confidence.

The government would benefit from certainty if regulations |were implemented on a timely basis with consultation from business.

To boost foreign investor confidence, the government should lengthen maximum property leases from 30 years to a definite and unambiguous 60-year lease term.

In terms of capital market development, modifying the taxation system in order to remove distortions, rationalizing the regulatory environment, improving cross-agency communication, enhancing enforcement, and encouraging product innovation are needed. Institutional strengthening is a fundamental prerequisite for enhancing Thailand’s role and capacity as a subregional development

At the national level, core challenges center on the need to strengthen the enabling environment for sustainable infrastructure development and for increasing the size, depth, and liquidity of Thailand’s capital market. The development of infrastructure and the domestic capital market requires increased private sector participation and investment. In the infrastructure sector, attracting private sector input requires greater clarity and transparency on issues related to service standards, cost sharing, tariff setting, revenue allocation, and operations and maintenance responsibilities.

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