Sat, 03 Apr 2004

Thailand Elite launched to lure Indonesia investors

Dewi Santoso, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Thai Embassy launched a new program on Friday called Thailand Elite, which is aimed at attracting investors from Indonesia.

The program, which offers various membership privileges, has already been introduced in a number of Asian and Western countries, such as China, Japan, Korea, Germany and France.

The purpose of the program is to invite selected top Indonesian businesspeople and state officials to become members, as a result of which they will receive first class services whenever they are in Thailand, something that is expected to encourage them to invest their money there.

Once in Thailand, members of the program will receive fast- track services at the airport, full access to over 20 selected golf courses throughout the country, treatment at over 70 exclusive spas, free medical checkups at 14 selected hospitals (limited to once a year), and discounts in the country's best hotels and restaurants).

Members, however, have to pay a membership fee of US$25,000 per year per individual and $50,000 per corporation. Individual membership is lifelong, while corporate membership lasts for 30 years. Both types of membership will result in the issuance of a gold-plated membership card.

According to ASEAN Business Advisory Council chairman Rudy J. Pesik, the program is being introduced in Indonesia as the Thai government has been "impressed by my relentless efforts in promoting Indonesia over 25 years."

In recognition of Rudy's work, the Thai government has conferred upon him the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn, a Thai royal award, for his efforts on behalf of Thailand and the Thai people.