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Call for Thailand to provide more transparent investment information

Organisers of the international real estate exhibition Mipim Asia in Hong Kong in November say other Asian countries provide better and more accurate information of the kind that property investors need to make a decision about where to put their money.

'Information on Thailand's real estate sector pales in comparison to that of Singapore, where investors have clear and trustworthy data that can be obtained online,' said Christine Lam, Asia Pacific regional director of Reed Midem, which organises international professional market exhibitions.

'For example in Singapore, investors know exactly how many unsold units there are in a project,' she added.

Ms Lam said information from the private sector alone was not convincing enough for foreign buyers. 'The government should play an active role in gaining trust from investors by providing reliable information.'

However, she said, Thailand was still an attractive market to international investors for its tourism, hospitality, inexpensive land and stable market.

Thailand was ranked third after Singapore and Vietnam as the most interesting countries in Southeast Asia for investment by investors who attended the exhibition last year.

'Vietnam might not be very transparent either, but global investors see it as a new market and that they consider more cost-effective because of cheap labour,' she explained.

Last year, investors' interest in Thailand dropped because of the lack of political stability, but this year confidence is expected to rise again.

More investors have become interested in potential infrastructure projects. For example, she said, Macquarie has invested in South Korea's airport expressway and Dubai World signed a memorandum of understanding with the Thai government to study a landbridge linking the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand last month.

Thai companies attending Mipim Asia from November 19 to 21 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre include Sansiri, Raimon Land, TCC Land, and Gaysorn Group.