Concept

Foreign Business Act, B.E. 2542

Summary
The Foreign Business Act was a law enacted by the Chuan Leekpai-controlled National Legislative Assembly of Thailand in 1999 that limited foreign ownership of certain Thai industries. Its predecessor was the Alien Business Act of 1972, enacted by a military junta. Industries which must be majority-owned by Thais included the newspaper business, radio stations, television stations, rice farming, animal husbandry, fishing, land trading, mining, wholesaling and retailing, restaurants, and all service businesses. The law criminalized nominees, any Thai who held shares on behalf of a foreigner. Nominees could be fined 100,000 to 1 million baht and face up to 3 years in prison. However, the law did not prohibit foreigners from being the majority in the board of directors and also did not prohibit having different classes of shares with differing voting rights. This loophole allowed thousands of foreign-controlled businesses to operate in Thailand. The new draft Foreign Business A
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