Government Affairs Updates

AMCHAM Executive Director, Heidi Gallant, meets with the Deputy Minister of Commerce, H.E. Chutima Bunyapraphasara

By Tomwit Jarnson, Director, Government Affairs and Public Policy at AMCHAM Thailand.

Context:

  • Thailand’s international rankings have improved, for example, Thailand’s World Bank Doing Business ranking rose from 48th to 26th .
  • Ease of doing business is one of the Ministry’s highest priorities under Thailand 4.0.  The time to register business will be reduced from 4.5 days to 2 days.
  • E-registration has been introduced.

On October 25, AMCHAM Executive Director, Heidi Gallant, met with the Deputy Minister of Commerce, H.E. Chutima Bunyapraphasara.

  • The Thai government is currently striving to upgrade the country’s rankings in international IP index and in ease of doing business.
  • Deputy Minister Chutima invited AMCHAM to support the Ministry of Commerce’s efforts regarding intellectual property. By coordinating with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the goal is to substantially improve Thailand’s ranking in the U.S Chamber International IP Index (7th Edition), which is set to be published by Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) next year.
  • Heidi recognized that Thailand had made concrete headway in intellectual property and expressed AMCHAM’s readiness to assist the Ministry in coordinating with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce accordingly.
  • On Foreign Business Act (FBA), the Ministry mentioned plans to liberalize List 3 of FBA, in line with the ease of doing business policy. In 2017, 19 items were removed from the list.  In 2018, more items are expected to be removed.
  • On RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), the latest rounds of negotiations in Singapore and in New Zealand made good progress.  Deputy Minister Chutima expressed hope that the announcement of the substantial conclusion of the trade pact could possibly be made by the ASEAN Summit in November 2018.
  • On CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), the process will take some time, as the pact will take effect 60 days after at least six countries have completed their domestic ratification procedures. In the case of Thailand, the public hearings held in all regions throughout the country have been completed. Thailand is keen to join this trade agreement and will apply next time it opens up to new members (possibly later this year).
  • More FTAs are in the pipeline for Thailand.
  • The New Economy Academy (NEA) has been set up to train SMEs and Startups. The Ministry welcomes cooperation from AMCHAM.
  • Heidi informed Deputy Minister Chutima that AMCHAM has already started initial discussion with the NEA.
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