Korn Chatikavanij, leader of Kla party, has spoken out in support of proposals for Thailand to relax its visa and immigration laws, particularly for expats and long stay visitors.
Speaking at the Royal Coast Riviera Club in Hua Hin, Khun Korn said he would be in favour of updating and relaxing some visa laws, as well as abolishing others.
“I think the timing for the proposal of the abolition and relaxation of visa laws in general is a good one,” Khun Korn told Hua Hin Today.
Khun Korn said that post COVID-19, Thailand should be doing more to attract long term visitors, particularly as other countries have already started relaxing immigration rules and are introducing new policies aimed at attracting more expats.
“I think the COVID period also illustrated the potential we have for attracting long term visitors, Khun Korn said.
“But more importantly we have seen many of our international ‘competitors’ make similar moves towards relaxation of immigration and visa rules – so there are precedents.
Previously, Khun Korn has spoken out in favour of abolishing the 90 day reporting requirement for foreigners in Thailand.
The requirement means that foreigners staying in Thailand on Non-Immigrant Visas or Extensions of Stay are required to report their address to the Immigration Bureau every 90 days. The requirement is more commonly known as 90 day reporting.
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However, Khun Korn said many immigration regulations in Thailand seem to be outdated and that technology could be used to provide better solutions.
“Many of these regulations seem to be out of step with the times, out of step with what technology could do more effectively and less burdensome in its place”.
Khun Korn said that he expects to changes made in relation to Thailand’s immigration rules and regulations.
“I think we are likely to be seeing changes as a result of the improving environment for proposals of this kind”.
Khun Korn is the leader of the newly formed Kla Party and previously served as Thailand’s Finance Minister from 2008 to 2011.
Born in London, he graduated from St. John’s College, University of Oxford. His background is business and investment banking and previously headed up JP Morgan’s Thailand operation.
Khun Korn was a guest speaker at the August meeting of the Royal Coast Riviera Club, which was held at the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin on Aug 19, where he was invited to share his plan and vision for “Thailand’s future in the wake of Covid 19”.
The Royal Coast Riviera Club has quickly established itself as a leading voice with the aim of helping to develop the region into a quality tourism and lifestyle destination for the benefit of regional businesses and the broader community for both Thais & foreigners.
Khun Korn spoke on a wide range of issues related to tourism, business, the economy and sustainability, with seemingly no topic off limits.
He spoke in favour of gambling reform and said that while he was not necessarily pro gambling, such reform could be beneficial for the economy and help to tackle the issues regarding illegal gambling and organised crime.
Khun Korn shared other ideas which he believed would benefit the country economically.
He called for the ‘greenification’ of Thailand, where sustainable practices can be used to help boost the economy.
He said he would be in favour of ‘earmarking’ tax for specific uses, such as using a windfall tax from oil companies for a program which would see solar power rolled out households across Thailand.
Khun Korn spoke of the need for Thailand to upgrade its logistical network – 98 percent of which is currently road based – with more long term sustainable solutions which would also benefit business.
He spoke positively about the Phuket Sandbox and its ‘start up mentality’, and while he admitted it was not a success in terms of the number of tourist arrivals, he said it was a lifeline.
He said the Phuket Sandbox came to fruition due to local people and stakeholders from the business and tourism communities working together and making themselves heard.
He also said how the Phuket Sandbox was an example of how local ideas can be much more effective than simply trying to implement policy formulated in Bangkok.
In addition he said would also be in favour of elections for provincial governors, as opposed to governors being appointed, as is the case currently.
He also called for educational reform in Thailand, which he said is not happening currently.
Khun said it was his vision for every Thai child throughout the country to have access to schooling of a good standard.
For more information about the Royal Coast Riviera Club and its objectives, please visit: https://www.rcr-club.com/