Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Treaties’

15th July 2021

As the first two weeks of the “Phuket Sandbox” scheme have elapsed, it appears that program is gaining increasing momentum in terms of tourist interest. Although the program has not been without issues as recent arrivals testing positive for COVID-19 have created situations where Alternative State Local Quarantine measures have been undertaken. That stated, the overall program seems to be proceeding smoothly and offers a glimmer of hope for the Thai tourism industry. It should be noted that the Phuket Sandbox is not reserved for tourists, it is possible for those with a non-immigrant visa to use the Phuket Sandbox as well.

Meanwhile, the island resort of Samui is reopening in a limited capacity to foreign tourists. The Samui Sandbox, or what some have dubbed the Samui corridor (due to the sealed pipeline of travelers transitioning through Bangkok), has commenced in recent days although there seems to be less than optimal demand for this program compared to its Phuket counterpart. To quote directly from a recent article titled “No foreign tourists on first day of Samui reopening” in The Nation:

Only 11 foreigners – all members of the media – will take the Bangkok Airways flight from Bangkok to Samui on Thursday, according to the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association. “We do not expect a lot of travellers to visit Thailand in the third quarter this year as the rise in the country’s daily Covid-19 cases would affect their confidence,” association chairman Ratchaporn Poolsawas said on Wednesday. “However, what we can do is start tourist operations in line with standard procedure in a bid to stimulate the country’s tourism.”

Clearly, demand for the Samui project is not as robust as some might hope. However, as the weeks go by the Samui program may prove to be a desired destination for future tourists. Also, it may prove to be an alternative to the Phuket Sandbox in a hypothetical situation where the Phuket program must be rolled back even though this does not appear to be a likely possibility as of the time of this writing.

While positive news abounds for Phuket and Samui, Bangkok remains under severe lockdown conditions presumably throughout the remainder of July. Restaurants cannot provide dine-in services, alcohol service of all kinds are banned, shopping malls are closed, and the city remains in a de facto state of severe lockdown. When exactly this will end remains to be seen as calls from within Thailand and in other jurisdictions are being made for a paradigm shift in the way pandemic response is undertaken with some arguing that the containment strategy is no longer viable especially in light of the devastating economic impact these measures have had and which will presumably continue should these policies continue to be enforced.

While the American Embassy in Thailand continues to provide US visa interviews and other routine services (albeit in a rather truncated manner) some have argued that the Embassy should provide vaccinations for expats Americans. As of the time of this writing, the Embassy has stated this service will not be provided and it seems unlikely this will change any time soon.

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18th July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that China and the United Kingdom have apparently concluded a revision of those nations’ double tax treaty. To provide further insight into these events this blogger is compelled to quote directly from the website of Accountancy Age,

REVISIONS TO THE double taxation treaty between the UK and China will reduce the withholding tax on dividends received by UK investors from Chinese companies. The document revisions coincide with the visit of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao. They reduce the withholding tax on dividends paid out by Chinese companies to 5% from 10%. This will apply to people holding at least 25% shares in a Chinese company and the rate will remain at 10% for other dividends. There has also been a small change in the treatment of royalties, with some royalties being charged at 6%, down from 7%.

The administration of this web log asks readers to click on those relevant hyperlinks noted above to read about these developments in detail. As has been previously noted on this web log, as China becomes increasingly economically dominant it stands to reason that many nations around the world will try to engage in further trade and business with that country. International agreements and treaties can often act to streamline trade and investment. Hopefully, the developments above will provide benefits for all concerned.
In somewhat related news, it recently came to this blogger’s attention that authorities in Taiwan appear to be encouraging that interested parties remain patient with respect to the prospect of a trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). To quote directly from the website of Focus Taiwan,

Manila, July 16 (CNA) Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs is asking the country’s businesses to wait patiently for Taiwan to sign economic cooperation pacts with other Southeast Asian countries because Singapore and China are the trade negotiation priorities at present…There are over 8,000 items being discussed in follow-up negotiations with China, and substantive talks are also being held with Singapore, making it hard to give the necessary attention to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Shih said…The minister acknowledged, however, that ASEAN was an area with which Taiwan needed to forge a free trade agreement or economic cooperation agreement…

Readers are strongly encouraged to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read the article in full.

As the ASEAN region continues to thrive economically there appears to be a growing yearning for ASEAN trade agreements from nations outside the region. This news comes shortly after the recent announcement that a sort of pan-ASEAN visa, similar to the Schengen Visa, will be one topic of discussion amongst ASEAN leaders. How any of these events will ultimately play out remains to be seen, but there are certainly those who would speculate that many of the topics noted above are positive developments.

For information pertaining to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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