Retail in Asia

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Thailand tightens environmental regulation

Thailand’s biggest foreign investors have learned to live with a lot in recent years, including mass protests, airport closures and persistent rumblings about military coups. But now there is another issue that has companies such as Ford Motor Co. and a host of petrochemical firms wondering if they should be putting their money elsewhere: the Government’s struggle to deal with tough new environmental regulation.

Bangkok hopes to set up a new environmental-monitoring agency within five months to quickly assess and approve new projects and keep investment flowing into the country. But a growing number of companies, including many that aren’t involved in the oil and chemical industries and have solid green credentials, are now becoming increasingly concerned about the changes and the uncertain regulatory environment they have created, and they want the investment crisis solved as soon as possible.