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Global businesses have long history of successfully working in Thailand

Mar '07
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released results from a new survey of 234 business executives from across five continents showing that Thailand's new economic policies and poor intellectual property safeguards could be jeopardizing international investment.

"Global businesses have a long history of successfully working in Thailand, but recent feedback from business leaders shows concern about their future," said Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Daniel W. Christman, U.S. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president for international affairs. "We need to do everything we can to work with the Thai government to ensure that policies follow globally accepted business practices, including regular consultations on pending economic decisions that impact foreign companies and investors operating in Thailand."

The survey showed that 11% of executives indicate that their companies have active expansion plans in Thailand and another 40% report that their firms are currently looking at future investment options.

Fully 75% of executives say that the recent military coup and controversial new economic policies in Thailand--such as currency controls, new foreign ownership laws, and government decisions on intellectual property rights regarding compulsory pharmaceutical licenses--would be factors in their final decision on investments over the next three years. North American business executives showed even more concern than their counterparts from other regions of the world.

Many executives report concerns that Thailand has weak intellectual property laws and isn't going far enough to enforce the laws it currently has. Thailand ranked third among Southeast Asian nations for "very weak" IP laws, faring better only than Vietnam and Indonesia. Fewer than 1% think Thailand is "very effective" at enforcing IP laws currently on the books.

The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

US Chamber of Commerce

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