Aviation-sector opportunities in Thailand: foreign equity cap moves from 49% to 70%

Good news for aviation businesses seeking a strong and growing base for expansion into Asia.

Thailand’s aviation sector – including aircraft maintenance and parts manufacturing – is opening up to foreign investment. The Thai cabinet has just approved a draft aviation business law that lifts the foreign equity cap in the aviation sector from 49% to 70%.

The move is part of a broader campaign to develop Thailand as a logistics hub for the entire Southeast Asian region. The Government has also announced its intention to foster an aviation sector industrial zone.

By allowing foreign companies to retail control over their investments (ie. by permitting foreign equity over 50%), Thailand is signalling its readiness to facilitate the entry of world-class players in the aviation maintenance and parts manufacturing sectors.  Thailand already has one of the most business-friendly inward investment regimes in Asia, with a ‘one-stop-shop’ service for obtaining necessary approvals from various Government agencies.

The race for attracting the world’s best aviation-sector firms is heating up. The Australian State of Victoria has just announced its own intention to develop an aviation precinct in partnership with John Holland Aviation Services. The Victorian precinct will be positioned to provide airlines with aviation training facilities, highly skilled workers and maintenance, repair and overhaul services.

The time is clearly ripe for aviation firms to think further afield.

Contact danny.burrows@trade-worthy.com for further information.