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OPEN LETTER: Foreigners with local businesses face impossible financial demands and regulations

OPEN LETTER: Foreigners with local businesses face impossible financial demands and regulations

A foreigner who launched a start-up business in Phuket before the COVID-19 outbreak details how foreigners who have spent millions of baht launching a businesses in Phuket are now stuck in an impossible situation financially, and unable to even comply with Immigration requirements due to no income during the current economic crisis. Here is the foreigner’s Open Letter to the Thai Government, unedited for veracity:

Monday 14 September 2020, 09:14AM

A staffer cleans a still-empty Phuket International Airport. Photo: AoT Phuket

A staffer cleans a still-empty Phuket International Airport. Photo: AoT Phuket

“Phuket is badly affected by the current crises” a statement by V/Gov Pichet, September 11, 2020.

What do you want as a government with foreigners who invest money in a Thai company?

We are a startup (restaurant and production), started in July 2019, with all rules required by law, Thai shareholder, all registrations and registrations for Ltd, tax, social security, required Thai employees (minimum 8 in our case), miscellaneous costs that are necessary to allow two shareholders to reside and investment in equipment.

To be prepared to start the season, which started in mid-September 2019, all calculated run-up losses will incur if it appears that the season will start later than normal. In mid-December, things are going better and things are going in the right direction, January 2020 is the first month that yields some profit, February 2020 is not great but not bad either. March has of course become a historic month, the tourist flow has come to a complete standstill.

Dramatic for the local working population, in particular, emergency facilities are set up with meals for the most affected, it’s a sad situation overall. The companies that can have it in the first instance (financially) helped out.

Temporary closures accompanied by dismissed employees are a reality and inevitable. In the first instance, employees continue to be paid without there being any income.

Where most of the entrepreneurs still think everything will be back to normal in a few months, it turns out that it has a much greater impact than ‘’just’’ a few months.

Given the current situation and all well-intentioned government initiatives, we should not expect a 2020-2021 season. This is not doom thinking but reality.

We can hang and strangle until now with a postponement arrangement and with some production "there", that’s all, pure survival now for 7 months. No income, no staff, staff entered the redundancy pay scheme, resigned or simply disappeared.

After millions of invested capital further, it is September 2020. Time to renew the visas, this is huge paperwork to do. There are many requirements that are not a problem under "normal" circumstances, usually matters relating to the last three months of the business, including a statement of personnel registered for social security benefits. With registration, the company is temporarily shut down from mid-March. Due to the compulsory closure, there is no staff, the opening is delayed and the situation is as it is, no tourists can be seen.

Then it is a shame and you can leave the company and leave the country, yes but ... there is no yes but, rules are rules and no exception is made even though there is a crisis. We will be told that there might be an agency that can help us… We have to bring a large amount of money for that, but we do not have a large amount of money.

We left the immigration office stunned.

C and C Marine

From their own experience, foreign entrepreneurs and wealthy Thai residents take the initiative to help the Thai population, free for nothing and no ulterior motives for later, they stick their necks out to help the local population.

Government, what have you done to help entrepreneurs, local and foreigners, to survive? Banks do not give soft loans without security (who can guarantee security?), Tax rebates? freezing of debt? rent support/postponement? Many conflicting messages/rules and so you cause chaos and no one behind a desk takes initiative. Because there are no unambiguous regulations, they rely on old rules.

Continue to stimulate the tourist economy and make Thailand on the world map as a holiday destination. But it is desirable that besides the capital powerful hotel and resort chains there are also local entrepreneurs to receive your guests in the restaurants and bars, support them generously!!

Government with all your concerns for a beautiful nation and a beautiful country for the necessary tourist flow, work for your people do not be starch. Much of the money flow on the island of Phuket still runs on foreigners who stay here. They can pay for the houses, eat regularly in restaurants and shop at the local entrepreneurs.

With us, more hard-working entrepreneurs and private individuals will be the victims of inimitable regulations.

Why are you chasing all foreigners out of the country with impossible financial demands and regulations?

Why do I have to leave everything behind as an entrepreneur?

I want to appeal to reasonableness and compassion, from the government, for all people who, even in times of crisis, have declared themselves loyal to your (!) country, helped with food and first aid. The majority of these relatively small entrepreneurs suffer by themselves after 7 months.

We are going back to the government’s office to see how we can do this legally.

Hendrik Fakkel.


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stevet | 18 September 2020 - 12:32:15

LALALA Hard to beleive Thai government force us to leave the Kingdom in this difficuly moment.  We will facing risky in our health/life, close our business and lay off all the remain Thai staff. And our future will be unknown. Hope Thai government dont force us to to leave during this crisis period. if we feel safe and covid is under control, we will leave because our country still our home base.

LALALA | 17 September 2020 - 11:41:38

Stevet....because they simply not care..they dont even care about their own people so you think they care about foreigners ? They never did and never will. And now as foreigners running out of cash they care even less....welcome to Land of Scam.

Hermann1 | 16 September 2020 - 22:02:04

Dek,I red your comment. Another attack on Kurt. You need to upgrade your comments if you want to reach Kurt's level.He comments on the subject but you react only with nonsense. Don't you understand ?

stevet | 16 September 2020 - 17:14:17

Does anyone can tell us why Thai government urge small business owner leaving the Kingdom in this most difficult period! We invested, spent money, built this city together and we do nothing wrong!  If we have to leave, we will losing everything. If Thai government can give us further visa extention, we could continue our businees here and  provide further constribution to the Kingdom

DeKaaskopp | 15 September 2020 - 17:27:20

@K   But at least the air on Phuket would become better !  555

Kurt | 15 September 2020 - 16:00:14

@JohnC, lift the brain blinds. It doesn't matter where someone is to comment. Right? Understand the answer?

JohnC | 15 September 2020 - 10:44:24

@kurt Can hope you will be leaving soon too? Would be the best news ever on this site.

LALALA | 14 September 2020 - 16:38:44

Another example which proofs that NOT to invest anything in LOS is the only right choice. Luckily nearly all my assets are overseas.

Kurt | 14 September 2020 - 12:51:22

Investing in Thailand is only safe when you a multi national, and can buy Government + Immigration officials in Bangkok. Now some Multi Nationals leaving Thailand. Must be a warning sign for small foreign investors. Don't invest now as long Thai bureaucracy is only strangling you and not gives you entrepreneur space as they do for thai investors.

Kurt | 14 September 2020 - 12:22:11

@ Christy Sweet,  I guess Mr Fakkel is not just looking for a 30 day renewal. Presume he has a business visa, and want to safe his business he invested in. For which he not get any help from thai Officialdom so far.  His open letter is not even a eye opener. It is the usual thai formalistic  bureaucratic thinking when it comes to foreigners. Many demands  ( as number of staff, etc), never support.

Shwe | 14 September 2020 - 11:41:05

Lesson to be learned, do not invest in Thailand, learned that in '97. 

Christy Sweet | 14 September 2020 - 10:59:33

Mr Fakkel, can you renew for another 30 days? I feel sure another amnesty is around the corner. My sympathies for your plight, Thailand needs to wake up to the fact this is not ending anytime soon and plan accordingly which means hanging onto consumers, not kicking them out.  

BigA | 14 September 2020 - 10:49:53

Bravo,but I bet the government is to chicken  like always to answer !?

Timothy | 14 September 2020 - 10:49:08

"there may be an agency that can help, but bring a large amount of cash".... Sounds about right. 


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