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Thai fintech sector raises concern over foreign competitors

The Thai FinTech Association has called for the government to provide greater support to local tech startups and financial institutions to prevent foreign players from monopolizing the country's fintech market, the Bangkok Post reported Jan. 25, citing the association's chairman, Korn Chatikavanij.

Korn expressed concern over foreign players potentially controlling Thailand's e-payment market following Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s aggressive expansion in the country through its partnership with CP All, which operates 7-Eleven convenience stores in Thailand.

As Bank of Thailand does not regulate cross-border trade in financial services, cross-border e-payment service providers can expand their services to compete directly with Thai banks, the newspaper reported.

The chairman said Thailand's government should foster a level playing field between local and foreign companies through the use of the Trade Competition Act. He also urged banks to forge partnerships with local fintech startups to compete with foreign e-payment players.

In addition, Korn called for the government to impose a corporate income tax on international technology companies that dominate Thailand's digital marketing industry, as well as implement long-term policies that will enable Thai tech companies to remain competitive.