BANGKOK: Thailand will allow foreigners to fully own land for residential use, a government official said on Friday (Jul 15), seeking to boost its economy by attracting a million new big-spending residents from overseas.

Thailand has for decades been a popular expatriate destination for investment, retirement and for starting small businesses, but foreign land ownership has been restricted.

Subject to Cabinet approval, foreign nationals will be permitted to own up to 1 rai (0.16 hectares) from September, providing they can invest 40 million baht (US$1.09 million) in Thai property, securities or funds over the three years, said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

The government is keen to attract more skilled workers and retirees and the proposal would include some tax benefits and a 10-year visa.

The scheme, which would be reviewed after five years, aims to add 1 trillion baht (US$27.25 billion) to the economy, and boost investments by 800 billion baht, Thanakorn said.

The government expects the economy to grow 3.5 per cent this year and reach pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

Source: Reuters/gr