Foreign owned-land in EEC zone

Please note that the EEC zone consists of 3 eastern provinces of Thailand; Chonburi, Rayong, and Chacheongsao. The main focus of EEC Project is the development of infrastructure, technology, and transportation business. Therefore, certain benefits have been given to the foreign investors in order to boost the direct investment within the EEC. Due to the fact that while Land Code of Thailand prohibits a foreigner to own land in Thailand, the Board of Investment (“BOI”) grants the privileges for a foreign investor to own land, situated in EEC zone, in case the foreigner’s business has been promoted by the BOI. In other words, it allows the foreign investor to have a 100% ownership over the land plots.

However, with this advantage, it rises significant controversy regarding the foreign owned-land in the EEC area, especially in economic aspect. The crucial concern is that foreigner may take control over most of EEC plots through acquiring of BOI incentives. Responding to this issue, the government states that granting full ownership of land in EEC area would benefit the country, as it would attract more foreign direct investment into the EEC. In addition, the promoted activity guarantees only for business purposes. Finally, any foreigner who fails to start operating its businesses within a specified period, will be required to transfer back the rights of land ownership.