February 23, 2021
Summary The Thai Board of Investment (the “BOI”), the government agency responsible for promoting foreign investment in Thailand, issued Notification No. Sor. 1/2564 Re: “Amending list of activities eligible for investment promotion under the Notification of the Board of Investment No. 2/2557” (the “Notification”) on 13 January 2021. This amends the list of eligible business activities for investment promotion; The Notification adds “Senior Hospital,” “Senior or Dependent Care Centers,” and “Clinical Research” businesses to Category 7 (i.e., Services and Public Utilities) of business activities eligible for investment promotion in Thailand; and Background On 13 January 2021, the BOI issued a Notification, which added Senior Hospitals, Senior Dependent Care Centers, and Clinical Research to the list of business activities eligible for investment promotion in Thailand under Category 7 of the Investment Promotion Act. The addition of these business activities may bolster Thailand’s regional appeal as a leader in the provision of medical care and research capabilities. This briefing will provide an overview of the eligibility requirements that are important for investors to know if considering investment opportunities in relation to Senior Hospitals, Senior or Dependent Care Centers, or Clinical Research businesses in Thailand. Senior Hospitals Senior Hospitals were added to the list of business activities eligible for investment promotion under the investment category 7.28.5. The key eligibility requirements and incentives for Senior Care Hospital applicants and promoted operations are, among other criteria, as follows: Eligibility requirements A project must have at least 50 beds and the developer must have all the required operating licenses and permits issued by the relevant authorities. Incentives Promoted Senior Care Hospital projects are entitled to...
February 23, 2021
Introduction The Board of Investment (the “BOI”), the regulatory body responsible for attracting foreign investment into Thailand, has expanded the list of business activities eligible for investment promotion. Notification No. Sor. 1/2564 Re: “Amending list of activities eligible for investment promotion under the Notification of the Board of Investment No. 2/2557” (the “Notification”) was issued on 13 January 2021, and adds international Procurement Office (“IPO”) business operations back onto the list of eligible business activities under Category 7 (Services and Public Utilities). IPO businesses join International Business Centers (“IBC”) as business activities eligible for investment promotions. It is important to note that although there may be some overlap in the scope of business activities for IPOs and IBCs, some important distinctions between these two businesses exist which investors should be aware of. This briefing will provide an overview of the differences between the scope of business activities for IBCs and IPOs and will provide a summary of eligibility requirements and incentives for IPO businesses. Background IPOs were eligible for investment promotion until 2014. In 2014 they were removed by the BOI and replaced by International Trading Centers (“ITC”) and International Head Quarters (“IHQ”). The nature of the business operations of ITCs and IHQs were similar in scope to that of IPOs. In 2018, the BOI replaced ITCs and IHQs with IBCs as a business activity eligible for an investment promotion. IBC business activities were similar in scope to that of ITC and IHQ activities. The Notification reintroduces IPOs, under Category 7.37, as business activities eligible for investment  promotion. However, IBCs remain eligible for investment promotions, as well. Despite similarities...
February 23, 2021
By: New measures to curb the “second wave” of COVID-19 cases have been introduced by the Dubai Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management (the Dubai Committee) and the Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee for COVID-19 Pandemic (the Abu Dhabi Committee). On 1 February, the Dubai Committee announced that, effective the following day and for the duration of the month of February, all pubs and bars in Dubai must close, while restaurants and cafés must close by 1:00 am. Shopping malls, hotels, private beaches in hotels and swimming pools may operate at 70% capacity. Theatres, other indoor venues and sports venues must operate at a maximum capacity of 50%. Entertainment activities in restaurants and cafés are no longer permitted. The Dubai Committee has urged the public to report violations by calling the Dubai Police or by using the Dubai Police App. There have been reports of recent prosecutions for violations, including the imposition of fines. On 7 February, the Abu Dhabi Committee announced that, effective the same day and until further notice, parties and gatherings are prohibited and theatres shall be closed. No more than 10 persons may attend a marriage ceremony or a family gathering, and no more than 20 may attend a funeral or mourning service. Malls are limited to 40% capacity, and gyms, private beaches and swimming pools are limited to 50% capacity. Restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, public beaches and parks may operate at 60% capacity. Taxis and buses may operate at 45% and 75% capacity, respectively. The Abu Dhabi Committee also announced new rules on entry into the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, effective...
February 23, 2021
In the beginning of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, strict government regulations were imposed as an attempt to stem the transmission of the virus. These restrictions required business establishments to put their workplace operations on hold, save for businesses deemed necessary to provide basic necessities. While the regulations were meant for the immediate protection of people’s health, their adverse economic impact was deeply felt by establishments relying heavily on actual customer contact. To keep their businesses afloat, employers needed to adjust to the demands of the situation by adopting flexible work policies. Indeed, while businesses were forced to operate at a reduced on-site workplace capacity, technology made employees conveniently accessible to their employers. This ensured the on-boarding of every employee daily and, effectively, serves as a prelude to the new normal business operations. Undeniably, physical interactions are still key for some industries and work productivity in the workplace setting has been proven to be effective. As such, employers cannot be faulted for seeking the “old” normal. However, since we are still without a universal cure for COVID-19, society’s hope for the return of normalcy would rely heavily on safe and effective vaccinations. Given that the government’s vaccination plan prioritizes frontline health workers and other vulnerable sectors, employers are taking charge and are beginning to procure vaccines for their employees. Aside from deciding on what vaccine brand to procure, employers are determining the proper tax treatment of the employees’ vaccine benefit, i.e., whether or not it is taxable as additional compensation of employees subject to withholding tax on compensation. DE MINIMIS BENEFITS In general, all compensation for services performed...
January 28, 2021
With increasing financial sanctions imposed on Chinese companies by the US government in recent years, the practice of long-arm justice is ever more relevant for international business. In this article, we will discuss long-arm justice in the US once we have looked at a brief introduction to similar practices historically in China and international institutions like the UN.