The Cabinet, during its meeting on 2 November 2012, approved a proposal by the Ministry of Commerce on the ASEAN Agreement on the Movement of Natural Persons. The agreement will facilitate the movement of ASEAN people engaging in trade: in goods, trade in services, and investment in the ASEAN region.
It was endorsed by the 44th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting in August 2012 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The agreement will be signed during the 21st ASEAN Summit to be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 18-20 November 2012. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will represent Thailand at the summit.
The Cabinet assigned the Minister of Commerce, or his representative, to sign the ASEAN Agreement on the Movement of Natural Persons in behalf of the Thai government. However, before the agreement is signed, the Government will submit it to the National Assembly for approval, in accordance with Section 190 of the present Constitution.
Section 190 requires that any treaty or international agreement which affects sovereignty, has extensive impacts on national economic or social security, or commits the country to international trade and investment must receive approval from Parliament before the government can continue the process with its partners.
The Ministry of Commerce told the Cabinet that, under this agreement, Thailand will allow business visitors and intra-corporate transferees from other ASEAN countries to enter into its territory.
It explained that “business visitors” means natural persons seeking to enter or stay in Thailand temporarily for business purposes. In the initial stage, Thailand will allow them to stay in the country for not more than 90 days, and the period may be extended to not more than one year.
As for intra-corporate transferees, Thailand will allow them to stay for not more than one year. The period may be extended three times and each time for not more than one year.
The intra-corporate transferees include executives, managers, specialists, and employees of an organization within a Member State who are transferred temporarily for the supply of a service through commercial presence.
The natural persons to be allowed to stay temporarily in Thailand are permitted to engage in a range of 25 professional services, such as engineering, computer science, research and development, advertising, agriculture, translation, construction, education, and hotel business.