US-Thai Amity Treaty

October 19, 2015

The US-Thai Amity Treaty of 1966 gives special rights and benefits to American citizens who wish to establish a business in Thailand. The treaty aims to provide significant advantages for US investors to run businesses in Thailand for both corporations and individuals. The FBL, which is usually difficult to obtain, will be granted swiftly for US-Americans in most business areas.


In particular, the treaty grants the USA two major trade advantages:

a) American citizens and/or companies are permitted to hold the majority of the shares or the whole company, branch office or representative office located in Thailand.
b) American citizens and/or companies may engage in business on the same basis as Thai companies, and are exempt from most of the restrictions on foreign investment imposed by Foreign Business Act.


It is, however, important to note certain exceptions, i.e. activities that are not subject to the treaty and remain reserved for Thais, such as fiduciary functions or operating in the field of banking (involving depository functions). Also, land ownership remains restricted.


Comparable treaties exist with other countries, such as Australia, however they have only a very limited scope and therefore play only an insignificant role in practice.


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