Thailand Drops Plan to Allow Foreigners Purchase Land

Thailand is scrapping a policy that would have allowed wealthy foreigners to purchase land, a government official said on Tuesday, following a public backlash against the plan.

The government announced earlier this year a plan to attract foreign investment, limiting foreigners to 1 rai (0.16 hectares) of land if they invest at least THB40 million (US$1.1 million) in securities or bonds for at least three years.

There is concern that the policy will increase property values and discourage local home ownership.

“The interior ministry has withdrawn the proposal … to listen to opinion from all parties so that it is comprehensive,” government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri told a news conference.

Thailand has been on a campaign to lure foreign investment in order to boost the economy, including long-term visa programmes and income tax incentives for “high potential” foreigners, wealthy retirees, and skilled professionals.