A subject of interest for chambers of commerce in
Thailand at the moment is the regulatory guillotine
In 2017, the government initiated a programme to cut down on
red tape, licences and permits, to encourage economic growth.
Phase 1 focused on a programme to reduce and amend certain
regulations in order to improve Thailand's World Bank 'ease of
doing business' ranking. Phase 2 will focus on reviewing
national licence and permit requirements, with the aim of
eliminating redundant licences, and streamlining complex
procedures for starting new businesses. The private sector is
being asked to suggest priority issues to be addressed.
Initial steps did lead to a higher World Bank ease of doing
business ranking for Thailand. The country ranked 26th out of
190 economies in 2018, up from 48th place the previous year.
The World Bank report recognises Thailand as one of the top 10
economies that have improved most in terms of ease of doing
business in the last year. In addition to new laws approved by
Parliament, section 44 of the Constitution was invoked by the
Prime Minister in an effort to improve the regulatory
framework, which was considered an obstacle.
- abolishing the requirement for a company
- eliminating the need for approval of work rules by the
- introducing an automatic risk-based system for selecting
companies for a tax audit;
- reducing the property transfer tax rate;
- adopting the Business Collateral Act, broadening the
scope of assets that can be used as collateral; and
- introducing on-line filings in a number of
The government also supported the development of a
comprehensive 'doing business' portal to be launched in 2019 to
provide easier and faster services for business owners.
The Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) has been active in
publicising the project. It has sponsored seminars on the
subject of 'Thailand's Journey on the Regulatory Guillotine',
which highlight the roadmap of Thailand's legal reforms, and
point out certain outdated, oppressive and complicated laws
that require revision to further promote development. Thailand
is a civil law jurisdiction, with more than 650 laws, and over
100,000 regulations and orders, many of which are out-of-date.
The outdated laws limit access to quality government services,
and obstruct and delay doing business. The TIJ believes the
revision and amendment of the laws is of extreme importance, as
this would uplift and improve the people's quality of life.
The Eastern Special Development Zone Act, BE 2561 (EEC Act)
was published on May 14 2018. It prescribes a number of
incentives for private investment, and complements and builds
upon the board of investment's (BOI) regime. It provides for
the establishment of a one-stop service to facilitate the
issuing of permits and licences under a large number of laws,
to new businesses in special economic zones (SEZs) announced in
the eastern part of Thailand (sections 29 to 38, and 43 to