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Thailand halts plan to allow foreigners to own land

Thailand has scrapped a proposal allowing wealthy foreigners to own a parcel of land. Government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri said the interior ministry has withdrawn the proposal after a public backlash against the plan. Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda called the issue a delicate matter and said a study was needed to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. The government earlier announced the plan aimed at attracting investment from overseas, limiting foreigners to 1 rai (0.16 hectares) of land if they invest at least THB40m in securities or bonds for at least three years. Critics have argued the investment sum was too small and that the policy could drive up property prices, crowding out local ownership. Thailand has been one of Asia’s most popular destinations for western expatriates, businesses, and retirees.

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