US-Thailand Treaty of Amity

US-Thailand Treaty of Amity. The United States and Thailand have enjoyed a long and multifaceted relationship, with the Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations serving as a cornerstone since 1966. This agreement, often referred to simply as the Amity Treaty, offers unique benefits to American citizens and businesses operating in Thailand.


The original treaty, signed in 1833, established peaceful trade relations between the two nations. The 1966 iteration significantly expanded upon this foundation. A key advantage for US businesses is the ability to hold majority ownership in Thai companies, a privilege often restricted by Thai law. This exemption applies to specific sectors deemed crucial for Thailand’s economic development, known as the S-Curve industries.

The treaty streamlines the business establishment process for Americans, eliminating the need for separate work permits under certain circumstances. Additionally, it allows for longer stays in Thailand compared to standard work visas.

Broad Attraction

However, the landscape has shifted since the treaty’s inception. Thailand, aiming to attract a broader range of investment and expertise, has implemented reforms to its foreign business regulations. While the Amity Treaty remains valuable, its relative weight has lessened.

In recent years, the treaty has continued to play a vital role in strengthening bilateral ties and promoting prosperity in both countries. As Thailand pursues its vision of becoming a regional hub for innovation and investment, the Treaty of Amity remains a cornerstone of its economic strategy, offering American businesses a gateway to the dynamic markets of Southeast Asia.


The Thai government announced in 2003 that the Amity Treaty would not be renewed upon its expiration in 2005. This decision reflected Thailand’s commitment to a more balanced approach to foreign investment, ensuring compliance with international trade regulations.

Despite not being renewed, the core provisions of the Amity Treaty remain in effect for existing businesses and individuals who qualified under the original agreement. The treaty’s legacy lies in fostering a strong economic relationship between the US and Thailand for decades. It continues to play a role, albeit a more nuanced one, in the ongoing economic partnership between the two nations.

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