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September 5, 2012

The Report: Thailand 2012 – Legal Framework

Oxford Business Group

The Report: Thailand 2012, published by Oxford Business Group, provides an in-depth analysis of different sectors of the Thai economy. Tilleke & Gibbins contributed the legal section of the publication, which examines how Thailand’s legal landscape fosters growth and foreign investment.

Thailand attempts to follow the trend towards liberalization, particularly after the change of government in July 2011. In doing so, legislation has been revised and adapted according the commercial and economic needs of the country, and also aligns itself with international norms and regulations such as free trade agreements. Key legislation that has been introduced over the last few years includes the Financial Institutions Business Act and the Deposit Protection Agency Act, while the Securities and Exchange Act and Civil and Commercial Code have undergone important amendments.

The analysis begins with exports in Thailand, which accounts for 60% of the country’s GDP. With initiatives such as the Board of Investment (BOI) and the Industrial Estates Authority of Thailand (IEAT), foreign investors are provided with the opportunity to own businesses and projects, often accompanied by tax incentives. The section delves into more details as it analyzes the key aspects of foreign investment law in Thailand, and the investment promotion and privileges that come with it. Finally, the writers provide a clear picture of the exact legal requirements for doing business in Thailand, covering the forms of business organizations available, establishment of a branch office in Thailand by a foreign company, regulations governing limited companies and joint ventures, raising capital in Thai markets and the administrative requirements prior to doing so, land ownership in Thailand, labor law regulations, and the scope of intellectual property protection in Thailand.

The section then concludes with an additional Viewpoint by Darani Vachanavuttivong, co-managing and partner and managing director of the Tilleke & Gibbins intellectual property team. She discusses the importance of intellectual property rights, and how to protect innovation under Thai law.