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Thailand Increases Minimum Capital Requirements on Foreign Firms. From the Bangkok Post - Thailand; Jan 30, 2003
Jan 30, 2003

Many foreign investors have been dismayed by a ministerial regulation that increases the minimum capital requirement on foreign-owned firms operating in Thailand. The new regulations require foreign firms engaging in restricted activities - include retailing and wholesaling, service industries and construction- or those that require prior government approval, to have a minimum registered capital not less in any event of at least three million baht for each business.

American investors, in particular, are troubled by the implications. Their rights are supposed to be under the Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations between Thailand and the US. The treaty grants qualifying US companies operating in Thailand ``national treatment''. The issue is whether or not imposing the new registered capital requirements on US companies qualifying for treaty protection violates the pact.

The larger concern among the US business community is that the Thai government's apparent decision to bring US firms under the new requirement is a step toward canceling the treaty.

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