Thailand could open borders in early 2021

Japan and Taiwan have already relaxed restrictions for Thai business travellers.
Japan and Taiwan have already relaxed restrictions for Thai business travellers.

The government is in talks with countries including Japan, Singapore and Vietnam, who have seen success in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Thailand.- The Thai government is currently working on reopening its borders to foreign tourists and business travellers early in 2021.   

This would be done bilaterally only with neighbouring countries that have proven results in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic. Thailand is in talks with countries including Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.  

Taiwan and Japan have relaxed restrictions and quarantine demands for business travellers from Thailand.  

Supattanapong Punmeechaow, the deputy prime minister who oversees economic issues in Thailand, told Nikkei Asia the government is looking into how to prepare for a resumption of international flights and relaxation of quarantine rules. 

Only 3,500 coronavirus infections and 59 deaths have been reported in Thailand during the pandemic.

Supattanapong said Thailand was considering granting business visas, particularly to Japan, “to bring in expertise, including several types of visa to attract investors and foreigners to come and stay.”

It is also considering shortening quarantine periods from 14 to seven days to attract tourists and investors.  

Thailand aims to boost its economy in general, and in particular to reopen its tourism sector by focusing on a limited number of visitors with higher spending power. 

Supattanapong said: “The number of tourists may be less, but they should be the best-quality tourists in order to generate revenue for the country.” 

Thailand also is considering aggressive investment incentives to make the Southeast Asian country more attractive compared with competitors in the region. 

Supattanapong said the pre-pandemic plan to promote targeted industries is currently being realigned. It originally proposed to create investment zones supported by the government, aiming to promote 10 industries likely to produce high added value, including affluent and wellness tourism. 

He believes sectors such as medical, biochemicals and wellness tourism will be best-placed to capitalise on post-coronavirus demand. 

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