Trade and Commerce Bangkok Client Alert May 2015 www.bakermckenzie.com Bangkok 5th Floor and 21st-25th Floors 990 Abdulrahim Place Rama IV Road, Silom, Bangrak Bangkok 10500 Thailand © 2015 Baker & McKenzie. All rights reserved. Baker & McKenzie International is a Swiss Verein with member law firms around the world. In accordance with the common terminology used in professional service organizations, reference to a “partner” means a person who is a partner, or equivalent, in such a law firm. Similarly, reference to an “office” means an office of any such law firm. For further information please contact: Wanee Visitvudhikul +66 2636 2000 ext. 4073 firstname.lastname@example.org Waratchaya Tungsuwan +66 2636 2000 ext. 4359 email@example.com Changes to the list of restricted business activities under the Foreign Business Act Under the FBA, which regulates activities in which foreign companies may engage in Thailand, service businesses including commercial banking, representative offices of foreign banks, and life and non-life insurance, are among the restricted businesses under Schedule III of the FBA, in which foreign companies may engage only upon obtaining a foreign business license. On 12 May 2015, the Cabinet has approved in principle, a draft ministerial regulation removing commercial banking as well as representative offices of foreign banks and life and non-life insurance businesses from the restricted business activities under Schedule III of the Foreign Business Act (FBA). The removal will be effective once the ministerial regulation is issued by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC). As commercial banking and life and non-life insurance businesses are already regulated by their own specific laws, the Cabinet has agreed with the MOC's proposal to remove these businesses from the list of restricted activities in order to eliminate duplication in the regulation of these activities. At this stage, it remains to be seen whether and to what extent the scope of the ministerial regulation will include “connected businesses” of commercial banking, representative offices of foreign banks, and life and non-life insurance. When the MOC issues the ministerial regulation to this effect, relevant businesses listed under such regulation will no longer require a foreign business license from the MOC but will still be subject to licensing requirements from their own specific regulators. We will keep you informed when there are further updates regarding connected businesses as discussed above.