Thailand bumbling benefits neighbors



Senior Member
Asia Property Report - May 07 - news

Thailand gives neighbours a lift
By Daniel Ten Kate

Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia are all benefiting from the Thai government’s poorly implemented capital controls and proposed changes to foreign ownership laws. Investors who would’ve never given those countries a look are now making inquiries, and, in some cases, closing deals.

“Absolutely Thailand’s problems have benefited neighboring countries,” says Robert Collins, managing director of Agency and Investment Services for Savills (Thailand) Limited. “Malaysia in particular has benefited, and to some extent the residential side in Vietnam.”

But though Thailand’s regional competitiveness is lagging for the moment, the news isn’t all bad by any means. Most property developers agree that once the government gets its act together and sets clear economic policies that restore certainty to the market, Thailand will again be the top choice for property funds and investors.

“Thailand doesn’t have a natural competitor in the region,” Collins says. “If ownership structures become clear or sentiment reverses, we’ll see a huge outpouring of pent-up demand. It might not happen until next week or for another year. But the exciting mix and interest in Thailand is not going away.”