Magna Carta Law Firm > Thailand News

Clubhouse App is Booming

Clubhouse App

Clubhouse is a drop-in audio chat serving as an online platform for its users to meet, discuss, and exchange ideas based on their interests.  This is an audio-only set-up, which means there are no texts, videos, and images, except for the user’s profile picture.

Various interesting people, professionals, prominent personalities, influencers, celebrities, entrepreneurs, media presses, etc. are hosting Clubhouse rooms.  This will give its users the opportunity to gain insights from the experts and join conversation within the community.  There are several discussions occurring at the same time, thus allowing users to shift speakers and topics at any time.  Various conversational topics are accessible such as health, business, and technology, to name a few.

Clubhouse is currently by invitation, wherein you have to be invited by an existing member to be able to join this exclusive community.  Some people are selling invites so you have to be aware of invite scams.  Additionally, it is only available on iOS for iPhone users at present.  However, there are plans to open this app to the general public soon.  When this happens, this could open up a new way to engage with broader audience and connect with experts in other industries.  As you connect and meet other Clubhouse members, they may eventually follow you over to your other channels and communities; which will be a great advantage to business owners and marketers.

First Trimester Abortion in Thailand: Approved!

Thailand Abortion

The Government Gazette has announced an amendment to Criminal Code, Section 301 and 305, making it legal for women to terminate their pregnancy of up to not more than 12 weeks.

Previously, most type of abortion in Thailand is illegal. Now, a person is considered not guilty and shall not be liable to legal punishments if such abortion is made by an act of medical practitioners and according to the criteria of the Medical Council with the following circumstances:

1. Pregnant women who are physically or psychologically at risk.

2. There is a high risk of serious fetal disabilities or genetic disorders.

3. The pregnancy is a result of offenses relating to sexuality such as rape.

4. Wanting to terminate pregnancy of up to 12 weeks.

5. Pregnancies exceeding 12 weeks but not over 20 weeks shall be under the examination, counseling, and supervision of medical professionals.

In case of any abortion in Thailand that does not conform to those conditions, the offender shall face imprisonment of not over 6 months or penalty not over 10,000 Baht, or both.

Thailand Considers Legalizing Abortion

The cabinet recently approved a draft amendment to the Criminal Code proposing to legalize abortion for pregnancies of not more than 12 weeks. This amendment aims to address the concerns of women of their rights to life and body. According to The Royal Thai College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Medical Council of Thailand, it is safer to have an abortion during the 12-week period of pregnancy.

 

The amendment also outlines exceptions, that will allow termination of pregnancies to happen and that would reduce the penalties for having an abortion for pregnancies of more than 12 weeks. Moreover, it includes an exception for cases of high risks of serious fetal disabilities or genetic disorders.

 

Women who are less than 12 weeks pregnant and are planning to terminate unwanted pregnancies will no longer be liable to legal punishment, upon approval early next year.

 

At present, Thailand only allows abortion in the event of medical conditions or risks to life, or when the pregnancies are the result of rape, deceptions or force. Hence, women resort to risky self-induced abortions, making unsafe abortion as one of the most common causes of mortalities in women around the world.

Completing Property Transfers in Thailand During Covid-19

Completing Property Transfers in Thailand

Dear Purchasers,

It has come to our attention that many clients who are due to complete on property purchases are worried because they cannot yet get back to Thailand.

We would like to advise you that there is no need to worry as the land office has a set protocol to allow property transfers in Thailand to take place and complete without the buyer actually being in Thailand.

The process in completing property transfers in Thailand during Covid-19 pandemic is as follows;

  1. We compete a specific power of attorney using the land office own form. We then email that to you in English (for your reference so you can understand what you are signing) and Thai for you to print out and sign.
  2. We also require a copy of your passport picture page signed as well.
  3. In the case the buyer owes the developer money we can accept that into our client account bank account then prepare the correct cashiers cheque’s to be paid at the land office.

The total process to get all the documents countersigned is as follows.

Once the forms are printed out via email (in the foreign country) they have to be taken to a notary public lawyer for the purchaser to sign and get witnessed. The papers then need to be sent, by post, to the legalization dept with that country to be legalized. After that they need to be taken to the Thai embassy to get the stamp. Once that is all completed they need to be all courier to us via DHL etc.

Once received the land office will allow the transfer to take place regardless that the buyer is not Thailand.

The whole process time line varies from country to country however using the United Kingdom as an example the normal time to get this all completed and returned to Thailand is around 16- 20 days.

Digital Park Thailand

Digital Park Thailand

Digital Park Thailand is strategically located within the Special Economic Zone of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) on a 600-rai area in the Sri Racha District of the Chonburi Province. It is located conveniently close to Suvarnabhumi Airport and U-Tapao International Airport. Several industrial, estates and universities surround Si Racha. Therefore, this project will support these existing industries and people in the area, including existing schools and the automotive and agriculture sectors. There is also an assurance of an easier mode of transportation in the future. High Speed and double track railway and motorway expansion, will then provide Interconnectivity between industrial sites, deep-sea ports and international airports.

Digital Park Thailand is a new digital hub for tech geniuses and business innovators looking to expand operations to Thailand and the ASEAN region.  The establishment of the Digital Park will signify an innovative change in the way of conducting business in Thailand. Because it is surrounded with regional logistic hub, force of several world-class digital production, and recognized educational institutes, it will serve the purpose of the Digital Park to create an environment for a digital ecosystem to excel. Equipped with ultra high-speed broadband infrastructure, submarine cable station, data center, and satellite earth station, this will then serve as the digital hub of EEC while aiming to become the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) data hub.

Digital Park Thailand is the destination for global players and world-class digital nomads to Invest-Work-Learn-Play because it will comprise of the following:

  1. Digital Industry Investment: Global Digital Player Destination
  2. DigiTech Acceleration: Global DigiTech Networking, 24/7 Innovation Workspace
  3. Digital Experience Innovation: Digital Theme Park, Animation & Movie Town
  4. Connectivity Hub: International Internet Gateway, Digital Data Hub, Satellite and Space Center

Digital Park Thailand is subdivided into 3 Zones:

Zone 1 – Private Sector Innovation Space

The digital business investment zone for foreign companies investing in Thailand.

Zone 2 – Digital Talent Space or Digital innovations zone (University 4.0 and Digital Academy)

This zone will comprise of centers for learning and sharing of digital technology, universities, and institutes for creations of digital innovations, such as Internet of Things (IoT) Institute. Renowned international and local universities offering digital-related courses and laboratories will then be established under collaboration between universities and the private sector.

Zone 3 – Smart Living Space and Innovation Workplace

Smart Living Space will comprise of residences, hotels, a shopping mall and a sport complex. Hence, this will make Digital Park Thailand a destination for international digital talent to live, work, learn and play.

Maximum Privilege 

Several incentive packages will be offered to business operators in Digital Park Thailand, which includes the following:

  1. Corporate and personal income tax privileges
  2. RDI regulatory exemption
  3. Ease to do business
  4. One-stop services
  5. Simplified VISA and work permit procedures.

The park is certainly going to be Thailand’s premier digital platform. Most importantly, this will pioneer testbeds and adoption of state-of-the-art digital technologies, Internet Of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence.

This is an exciting opportunity for end-users, entrepreneurs, corporate residents, investors and partners across the region and country. Because of the project’s digital capabilities and sound infrastructure, as well as a vibrant world-class environment, Digital Park Thailand will definitely make an exceptional location for business leaders considering relocating their digital businesses within ASEAN.

 

Please See Related Pages under Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)

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Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)

Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)
 
Thailand 4.0

Thailand 4.0 is an economic model that aims to transform the Thai economy from industry-driven into innovation-driven. Past economic development models placed emphasis on agriculture (Thailand 1.0), light industry (Thailand 2.0), and advanced industry (Thailand 3.0).

Thai economy has boomed during the first years of Thailand 3.0 platform. But in recent years, it has grown by only 3% to 4%. Thailand has been stuck in the middle-income trap for more than 20 years. Since the world is getting more competitive, Thailand has seen the necessity to launch Thailand 4.0 to boost its economy to become an innovation driven and a high-income country.

Four Objectives of Thailand 4.0
  1. Economic Prosperity – to create a value-based economy that is driven by innovation, technology and creativity.
  2. Social Well-being – to create a society that moves forward without leaving anyone behind through realization of the full potential of all members of society.
  3. Raising Human Values – to uplift the competency level of Thai people.
  4. Environmental Protection – to become a livable society that possesses an economic system capable of adjusting to climate change and low carbon society.
What is the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)?

The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is the initial project under the Thailand 4.0 scheme for the economic development of Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard. This project will drive the country’s investment in boosting innovation as well as acquisition and development of new and advance technology. This will mark as a momentous growth and transformation of Thailand’s economy. With good infrastructure and investment platform, the EEC can become the center for trade and investment thus making Thailand an attractive investment destination.

Initially, the EEC project will cover 3 eastern provinces namely Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao covering a total area of 13,000 square kilometers. This area is being designated and promoted because of their capacity to increase investment possibilities and facilitate development of economic activities because of its strong recognition of the Thailand’s targeted industries and support of the Thailand 4.0 initiative. The Eastern Seaboard has proven success in Automobile, Electronic and Petrochemical industries, and has established strong connection to neighboring countries. It is EEC’s focus to improve this existing connectivity while promoting innovation.

 

Implementation Programmes for the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Development
  1. Infrastructure Development Implementation
  2. Targeted Industries Development Implementation
  3. Human Resource, Education, Research, and Technology Development Implementation
  4. Tourism Development and Promotion Implementation
  5. New City and Community Development
  6. Business Hub and Finance Hub Development Implementation
  7. PR and Mass Engagement Implementation
  8. Modern Agriculture, Irrigation, and Environment Implementation

 

Major Development Projects

Air Transport Development Plan

  • -Modernization of U-Tapao International Airport with expansion of existing runway and new passenger and cargo terminals.
  • -Transform U-Tapao Airport into a hub for Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO).

Land Transport Development Project

  • -High Speed and double track railway and motorway expansion to provide Interconnectivity between industrial sites across the country to 3 deep sea ports and 3 international airports.

Sea Transport Development Plan

  • -Expansion of Laem Chabang Port Phase 3 to accommodate freight containers up to 18M Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) and 3M cars annually.
  • -Development of Mapthaphut Industrial Port Phase 3. This is designated for the transport of Liquid Freight and natural gas, which are important for raw materials for energy production and advanced petrochemical industry. The enhancement of this area’s infrastructure will be an advantage to better facilitate transportation of these products.
  • -Sattahip Commercial Port will be upgraded and modernized to become an international and cruise ferry port.
  • -Establishing new ferry port to connect major tourist destinations, designed to connect both sides of the Gulf of Thailand.

 

Targeted Industries
  1. The Next-Generation Automotive Industry
  2. Automation, Robotics and Intelligent Electronics Industry
  3. The Advance Agriculture and Biotechnology
  4. Food Processing Industry
  5. Medical Devices and Supplies Industries
  6. High Wealth, Medical Tourism and Comprehensive Healthcare Industry
  7. Digital Industry
  8. Satellite, Aviation and Logistics Industry
  9. Biofuels and Biochemicals Industries

 

What are the benefits of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to investors?

The EEC intends to welcome foreign companies to invest in the Special Economic Zone with attractive incentives, as well as an assurance of infrastructure readiness and ease of doing business in Thailand.

  1. Exemption from Corporate Income Tax for up to 15 years
  2. Subsidies from the Fund for supporting expenses incurred in the investment, research and development, promotion of innovation or development of specific personnel of businesses in targeted industries
  3. Lowest personal income tax rate of 17% for executives and experts
  4. Long-term land lease for up to 50, and a renewal for up to 49 years
  5. Permission to own land for BOI promoted projects
  6. Work permit and visa assistance and a 5-year business visa
  7. Special Public-Private-Partnership procedure
  8. Fast-track Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval
  9. Foreign currency account and use of foreign currencies without exchanging into Thai baht
  10. One-Stop Service Centre to facilitate foreign investors

The government is confident that the Easter Economic Corridor will mark its completion by year 2021. By then, the 3 Eastern provinces will turn out to be the center for technological manufacturing and services with strong land, sea and air connectivity to its ASEAN neighbors.

 

Please See Related Pages under Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)

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Considerations for Divorce in Thailand

If you are unfortunate enough to be facing divorce in Thailand then you may find the procedures and regulations far different to that of say EU Nations or the USA.

In general, if you or your spouse are currently living in the Kingdom you can file for a divorce provided there are sufficient grounds. If the marriage was registered in Thailand and both parties agree then the process is mainly administrative.

An uncontested divorce can be obtained at the local District Office (khet/amphur). The application must be made in writing and witnessed by two people and registered with the relevant authorities. There is no requirements for any lawyers attendance.

 

Registering the Divorce

Registration is made at the District Office. Normally it is not possible to book an appointment.

You are required to take:

  • Completed signed documents
  • ID photo’s
  • Passports
  • The marriage certificate

What if the Divorce is Contested?

If either party contests the divorce, or you both can not agree on financial issues, division of assets or child custody, then a divorce may be filed with a Thai court. The reasons and grounds for a divorce has to be demonstrated personally in court.

Grounds for divorce include:

  • Separation of over three years
  • Adultery
  • Desertion of partner for over twelve months
  • Criminal misconduct
  • Prison
  • Insanity for over three years
  • Misbehaviour
  • Physical disability causing husband and wife unable to cohabitate
  • Incurable disease
  • Mental or physical abuse
  • A spouse has disappeared
  • A spouse has failed to provide proper maintenance and support their partner

 

How are the Assets Divided in Court?

Thailand is a “Community Property” jurisdiction. This means that separate property and assets acquired before marriage remain with their original owners. Property and assets acquired whilst in marriage are equally divided.  

However, the rules of division of property are complex and the court will decide according to these rules. Prenuptial agreements can alter the distribution of property during a divorce.

Debts incurred during the marriage are normally the responsibility of both parties.

 

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are legal in Thailand providing they meet the requirements of Thai Law. Thailand has it’s own requirements for registering a prenuptial agreement before marriage. If the agreement was taken in another country then generally the Thai courts will accept it as long as the agreement was legal in the originating country.

 

What if you are Living Outside Thailand

If you are now living abroad, the Thai court may potentially still have jurisdiction over a divorce action. Therefore a lawyer may still be able to file for a divorce for you even if you are living outside the country.

However, normally a plaintiff must appear at least once in person during the legal procedure.  

 

Divorce Settlements

An arrangement has to be made in a settlement if children are involved. If there is no provision made the court will determine the provisions.

In the case of adultery, normally the innocent spouse receives the benefits. The guilty party may have to pay living allowance as part of the agreement. However, the right is void when the party receiving the allowance remarries.  

 

Foreign Nationals

In general, foreign nationals may obtain a divorce in Thailand providing they can prove minimum residency requirements.
If the divorcing couple did not marry in Thailand then normally they do not qualify for an administrative uncontested divorce at the District Office. Providing they qualify a divorce may be applied for through the Thai courts.

Thailand Leads Hotel Residence Boom in SEA

Thailand leads hotel residence boom in SEA

According to new research by C9 Hotelworks, the Thai based consulting group. There are currently over 28,000 hotel-branded residential units for sale across the region representing 120 projects.

This led to Thailand becoming Southeast Asia’s number one in the field and exemplified the close association between global hospitality brands and property developers in Thailand. There is an estimated US $ 3.5 billion inventory for sale.

The rapid growth of traditional resort hotels cashing in on the real estate market has driven mass investment. The large hotel chains are using their weighty brand names to associate quality and service that is synonymous with their luxury chains. This in turn gives reassurance and an expectation of quality to the potential buyers.

 

Global Financial Crisis

During the global financial crisis, Asia like many other regions fell back to their core domestic market in terms of real estate. But more recently the progression has attracted an increasingly high volume of top tier developers with massive, large scale projects.

The differential between the average price of traditional urban Thai properties and resort destinations is significant. While urban prices of around US$ 7 sqm are still rising sharply the resort destinations are far lower at US$ 4sqm. Plus the latter offer a plethora of services and extras that are corresponding with a luxury brand.

Thailand leads the race at 37% with Indonesia 22% and Vietnam 18% also having considerable numbers. Malaysia and the Philippines 9% are also slowly growing with the same economic philosophy.

One key factor driving urban projects is the price of land. The projection forecasts calls for an increasing number of developers seeking associations and affiliations with major hotel group brands. This affiliation can offer between 20% / 30% premium in prices with the associated hospitality assets.

 

Phuket, Bangkok & Pattaya

The three top places in Thailand for such affiliated joint developments are Phuket, Bangkok and Pattaya. Together there are 44 developments with 5,000 units available for sale.

Another catalyst for the rising tide is the increasing demand by potential buyers for mix-use projects that contain hotel and real estate components. Large hotel brands can offer the facilities and luxury design, service that is almost becoming the norm for the buying market.

End users and in SEA now overshadows Traditional buyers. Asians are representing the largest buying segment showing a change in lifestyle living. Bangkok’s massive success story at the St Regis Residences demonstrated this, while a more recent Four Season’s development was also extremely popular.

Big Thai hotel and hospitality groups such as Minor, Onyx and Dusit are at the front end of this new economic push and are tapping into the movement both in Thailand and overseas. What is clear in looking at the landscape is that rapidly escalating land prices are driving developers to embrace mixed-use projects in increasing numbers, and often add in commercial, sporting and tourism attractions as part of broader lifestyle offerings.

 

Cost of Land

The facts and figures bear testament that the property market has a definitely changing face in Thailand and the SEA community as a whole.

Costs of land is partly driving this but it is more detailed than simply cost. The ability of global hotel chains with years of history and reputation have large input in the new growing market. Their brands associates with luxury, service and extremely high standards.

Together with their huge marketing awareness and past success, they are the perfect partners for developers to associate with and to provide the perfect dwelling solution.

It is the face of property development for the future in Thailand and throughout the whole region. Buyers are becoming more demanding and wish for more associated services alongside their actual living unit.    

 

Loan Assistance for Home Buyers in Thailand

Buying homes in Thailand has complications just like any other country in the world. Finding initial deposits and fulfilling the necessary legal and payment requirements is just as much a pain in Thailand as anywhere else, especially with the current world economic climate.

In October 2015 short-term intermediate measures were announced by Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong to help house buyers secure the all important and difficult loans. Hopefully this in turn will stimulate the real estate market which will drive further construction. Mr Tantivorawong declined to comment on the implementation of the land and buildings tax and when it might come into effect.

 

VAT Proposals

There is a proposal to increase VAT from seven to ten percent but it might be offset by the nationwide e-payment initiative being fully implemented. Added to this is the introduction to encourage businesses to have only one financial account.

The Minister also added that the real problem to people securing house loans at present was that the banks were reluctant to give out money during the current economic climate.

 

Press Rejection

Mr Tantivorawong went on to further say that this was not a matter that should have been brought to public attention by the press as nothing had been finalised and currently nothing has changed.

This confusion could prove to panic people and force delays in house buying while people hesitate for legislation. His concern was any uncertainty over the confusion and mix messages abounding.

Apisak reiterated that the draft of the Land and Construction tax is still very much under review by the ministry as the new Council of Economic Ministers had assigned more work and understanding to take place to enable fairness to all parties.

 

Land And Construction Tax

The former finance minister and the former deputy prime minister signed off on the bill before their replacements took office, but the new Council of Economic Ministers have decided to revise the bill before it goes in front of the new Cabinet. The Minister quoted that he hoped the revision would be completed by the end of 2015.

 

Loan Assistance

Due to all these delays and the uncertainty facing the ratification of the bill and the possible hike in VAT, Mr Tantivorawong said e-payments and the single account measures should be able to compensate for the income gained from the VAT increase.

He personally believes that the measures could compensate the missing revenue and there would be no need to increase VAT.

Due to the delay then short term loan assistance would be implemented to help people in the interim to aid their purchasing of homes.

The president of the Thai Condominium Association, Mr Prasert Taedullayasatit was quoted as saying that it would be better if low income buyers had financial assistance to help and make it easier to get mortgages. He highlighted that the low income market was only responsible for 10% of the overall Thai property market last year.

 

The Five Stimuli Package

Whilst the housing market faced all this confusion the government implemented five key strategies to bring stimulus to the economy.

  • Corporate income tax would be reduced from 23% to 20%
  • Corporate income tax and dividend tax exemptions will be provided for government venture capital funds for a period of ten years.
  • Real estate transfer fees will be reduced from 2% to 0.01% for six months and mortgage fees will be reduced to 1% for the same period.
  • The Government Housing Bank will receive 10 billion baht to provide assistance to low income earners.
  • First home buyers can deduct taxable income with 20% of home value for a period of five years.

This stimuli is an attempt to provide financial help in this difficult period of uncertainty in the home buying market and whilst the economic slowdown is currently in effect.

The confusion of possible legislation concerning the rise in VAT has compounded the situation and the government is at pains to convince the market that this is only a suggestion and is not ratified.

ASEAN Loan Wars

Asean Loan Wars

ASEAN was established in 1967 in Bangkok and is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Member countries include Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Its aims include accelerating economic growth, social progress and the development of its members to bring regional stability and protection.  

Since the formation of ASEAN, many external countries have been keen to grab the opportunity to take advantage of the association for their own political and commercial purposes and especially to cement their interests in the region. The main four countries vying for control are China, Japan, South Korea and the U.S.A.

China, Korea and Japan are obviously keen to grow their involvement with countries on their borders. It has also become recent American policy that their interest into Asia as a whole is accelerating. Recently two major events took place that amplified the economic interests of Japan and China within ASEAN.

 

BEJINGS LOAN AID PLEDGES TO ASEAN:

At the recent East Asia summit of November 2015 in Kuala Lumphur, China promised US$1O billion in loans to help infrastructure in Southeast Asia. This mammoth incentive was greeted with mixed reviews as some countries saw that it was a sweetener to deflect attention away from China’s controversial land reclamation program.

There was more money on the table as Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin pledged an extra US$560 million towards aid for underdeveloped and poorer ASEAN states. This was aimed towards the Philippines and Vietnam as the most tension over the China Sea disputes is with these two countries.

US President Barack Obama is also highly concerned with the slowly declining political situation over the South China sea land reclamations by China and extended an invitation to the 10 ASEAN leaders to visit the US in 2016.

 

JAPAN ANNOUNCES EASIER YEN LOANS TO ASEAN COUNTRIES:

At the same Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Japan made a counter move to that of the Chinese loan pledge. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that Japan will relax its Yen loan scheme for ASEAN countries to boost their infrastructure.

Tokyo’s move seems to be a countermeasure to that of China to monopolise the huge demand for infrastructure development in Asia. Japan felt undermined by China winning the lucrative Indonesian high-speed railway project earlier in 2015.

The counter move will make it easier for Japan to provide development funds to emerging countries by lessening the loan processing time. Abe also reiterates his investment initiative he announced in May to provide US$110 billion to promote quality infrastructure in the next five years. Also, this announcement coincided with the news that Japan will extend Y17 billion in loans to Cambodia for road development from Phnon Penh and Thailand.

Japan also pledged assistance to train 40,000 people in Asia, including ASEAN and India over the next three years in tandem set up a fund known as Japan ASEAN Women Empowerment Fund to female entrepreneurship in Asia.

This counter move by Japan compounds the battle that wealthy Asian and Western countries intend to wage against each other for cementing their foothold and control with the ASEAN countries.

 

ASEAN ALLIANCE:

There has been much work within the ASEAN group of countries to enhance development and growth within the alliance. There were destructions of many barriers and red tape to allow free trade and commerce to develop including visa restrictions. This allows fellow members to work in other countries, as long as it is in eight designated sectors.

However, it will take a lot of work to develop other areas especially those that are politically sensitive. Such areas are; auto production and agriculture.

One of the biggest hurdles for development between ASEAN countries is corruption. And there is a big gap between the richer ASEAN countries and the less developed members. Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Brunei are far more wealthy than Vietnam, Cambodia, myanmar and Laos.

There is a perception that this friction between the two different groups is purely on wealth. Furthermore, there is also a misinterpretation that this is an exploitation by the less wealthy countries. The battle to include ASEAN countries in economic policies of external nations will increase as more and more nations see the value and potential of the region.