As this incident has had a very negative impact on my life and the lives of my staff, I write you today not out of anger but out of concern for Thailand.
For many years, Thailand has been seeking the attention of the global financial community. And we in the West listened. When I was getting my MBA, we talked about Asean as the “land of new opportunity”. Like me, many entrepreneurs and foreign investors have come to Asean not just to make money, but to also be part of something you can’t find in the West anymore.
Many foreign investors look to Thailand for their investments, in the belief that Thailand will have a more progressive environment that ensures safety for investors and their investment.
Many of my clients, all international companies, ask me about the opportunities of setting up branches, investing and creating financial vehicles in Thailand and I always speak of the great opportunities the Board of Investment (BOI) has to offer and the kindness of the Thai people.
We love Thailand. It is more to us than just making money. It is about building something great with a goal of a better Thailand for tomorrow.
But now, after my brutal incident, it is becoming harder for me to be the unofficial spokesperson for Thailand. There have been other incidents that have caused foreign investors to look elsewhere to place their investments. Just last week, a US-based firm asked about a French citizen being shot dead by a police officer, who was already being tried for another murder. That company is now looking to invest in Vietnam.
A Singaporean firm, our major client, sent me the link to a news article on dark-skinned people being openly targeted. This company also decided to no longer pursue investment in Thailand and opted for Malaysia instead.
I have been told that I need to bring in more foreign investment to finish my BOI process, but all I can think about is I can very well be shot for having dark skin.
As we build our project in Thailand, we will be needing the expertise of people from many countries, with some being dark-skinned Indians, Americans, Europeans, Africans and Asians. I have to be able to ensure that these individuals are not being led into a death trap.
I write to you today out of concern because I believe there are many more cases of foreigners pulling their investments of Thailand and looking to other countries because of these incidents.
As the Thai economy declines due to a drop in tourism and foreign investment, it won’t be the individuals who are committing these acts that will be affected.
It will be the hard-working leadership and the Thai people who will be most affected by a declining economy.
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