February 2008


Following the Thai government’s proposals to amend the Foreign Business Act which restricts the rights of foreigners to own or operate certain businesses in Thailand, CB Richard Ellis Thailand has been carefully monitoring the Thai residential, resort and office markets to judge the market’s actual response from news of the proposals to amend the law on foreign businesses and other recent events.

CB Richard Ellis has also looked carefully at the real effect of the current proposals in conjunction with major law firms and has considered the psychological effect and the perception of foreign businesses in Thailand and foreign purchasers of Thai property. The danger of these proposals is that they may be seen as a rejection of foreign investments with large potential losses for both the real estate and construction sectors of the economy and what might been seen as poor public relations or presentation of Thailand internationally.

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Yes, apart from the fact that foreigners aren’t allowed to own land, which means that the only real viable option is to purchase on a long term lease. The longest lease allowable in Thailand is 30 years. Of course, it is possible to write an option into the lease giving the lessee the option to renew for a further 60 years. For most, 60 years is long enough. However, there is the risk that the lessee cannot renew the lease after 30 years, because they have snuffed it, or the lessor has snuffed it, or some other reason like the government decides not restrict the lease term to foreigners to, say, 10 years.

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As the sun goes down and the temperature drops just that few degrees to make me realize how warm it has been all day I sit in my hammock on my balcony sipping a tall glass of freshly squeezed lime juice over ice with just a splash of vodka.

I look back at the last few months and realize I have been lucky, lucky enough to chase a dream and catch it, lucky enough to realize life in the rat race can be escaped, lucky enough to finally find somewhere comfortable.

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Many people visit Thailand on holiday or on a business trip and fall in love with the wonderful “Land of Smiles”. Thailand has so much to offer: beautiful women, delicious food, great climate, fantastic beaches, tropical islands, outdoor sports activities, a dynamic social life and amazing travel opportunities. It’s a wonder anyone returns home! Some don’t. In this article I look briefly at six of the more common mistakes people make when they finally make the move to Thailand.

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It is the end of an era in Thailand. Political changes occur rapidly in SE Asia. Nowhere is that more evident than inside the Land of Smiles. In the wake of the John Karr / JonBenet Ramsey fiasco, Thailand has tightened restrictions on Tourism Visas and stymied the lives of tens of thousands of travelers. Officials claim the two are not connected.

For many years now, backpackers have flocked to Thailand. It’s tropical climate, gentle citizens, inviting beaches and ease of travel beckon youthful exuberance. Over time, many of us have matured to suitcases and still less-stylish travelers followed suit.

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