Meetings with senior Thai Government officials to discuss digital economy policy and customs issues.

The beginning of 2017 saw CLC Asia Managing Director Christopher Larkin meet with important senior Thai government officials, advocating on a number of issues for stakeholders we represent.

On the 12th of January, Mr. Larkin presented to Thai Deputy Prime Minister, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong at Government House on issues relating to the government’s efforts to support the Digital Economy in Thailand. The meeting also included officials from counterpart Ministries, such as Labour, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Digital Economy.

The meeting discussed a range of issues, in particular, easing restrictions around foreign investments in start-ups who wish to base themselves in Thailand. Mr Larkin pointed out in his presentation to the Deputy Prime Minister that Thailand has quickly become a destination of choice in Asia for independent digital professionals as well as firms wishing to use Thailand as a creative base and a global meeting point for their workers. However current government policy was not supportive of encouraging and engaging this new sector fully, and as a result Thailand stood to lose out to countries like Singapore and Indonesia which have begun to see these independent knowledge workers as a valuable resource.

Earlier in the same week, on the 10th of January, in his capacity as Director responsible for Government Affairs at the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Larkin presented a written submission to a delegation from the Thai Customs Department, led by Kulit Sombatsiri, the Director General. The submission, which was based on the feedback of Austcham members, focused on a number of key issues facing Australian businesses in Thailand. This included consistency in customs procedures and directives, as well as illegal smuggling and intellectual property issues surrounding the branding of Australian and New Zealand produce sold into Thailand.

In this substantive meeting Khun Kulit also outlined new measures which would facilitate faster and more transparent processing for Australian importers into Thailand – designed to minimise bureaucratic blockages and effectively creating a virtual ‘green channel’ for selected Australian importers.

The remainder of January will include courtesy visits to senior executives at state enterprises including EGAT and CAT Telecom, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

About CLC Asia

CLC Asia is a boutique government affairs firm based in Bangkok. We specialise in:

• government relations
• policy advisory
• political risk analysis
• market intelligence

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