The National Legislative Assembly ("NLA") voted on 25 April 2007 with an absolute majority (135 out of 136 votes) to amend the Foreign Business Act (FBA) based on the draft proposed by the Ministry of Commerce. Another 2 readings by the NLA will follow before the Bill will be passed by the NLA.
The NLA set up a new committee consisting of 5 representatives from the government and 22 representatives from amongst NLA members. This committee will compare the draft by the Ministry of Commerce with the proposed draft of the NLA. The revised draft will be sent back to the NLA within 7 days for the 2nd reading by the NLA.
The Committee will discuss among other issues the balance of fair benefits between Thai and foreign investors which is reflected in the power to control management through voting rights and protecting sensitive Thai businesses in the Annexes to the Bill. Other issues include the grace period to adjust any shareholding structure in compliance with the law, amnesty, if a company is found to be nominee and penalties.
We will monitor the situation and will follow-up with another Email Legal Update shortly.
Please see our previous Email Legal Updates Thailand: Draft Foreign Business Bill (Jan 2007) and Thailand: Foreign Business Act - What Is The Status? (Mar 2007).