April 19, 2011

New Ministry of Interior Policy to Prevent Purchase of Land for the Benefit of Foreigners

Thailand: Legal Developments, Tilleke & Gibbins Client Newsletter

Thailand, with its rich culture and beautiful sites, presents a very attractive destination to foreigners from many countries—for visit, travel, or even retirement purposes. Some of these foreigners wish to own property in Thailand, either as an investment or as personal residence. Thai laws are quite explicit concerning foreign ownership of property, stating that a foreign individual, a foreign entity, or a Thai company with more than 49% of its shares held by foreigners cannot own land in Thailand, except for particular investment purposes under certain laws such as the Investment Promotion Act, Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand Act, and property fund regulations. These exceptions providing benefits to foreign direct investment in Thailand were intended mainly to promote the country’s economy. To enjoy the benefits of these exceptions, foreign investors must meet multiple requirements set out by the relevant legislation and undergo strict scrutiny from authorities.

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