Bankruptcy sector ‘needs streamlining’

More needs to be done to improve the Bankruptcy Act to boost foreign confidence in Thailand’s commitment to cleaning up its domestic debt situation, permanent secretary for justice Wisit Wisitsoraat has warned.

Mr Wisit was speaking at the Justice Ministry-sponsored 11th Forum for Asian Insolvency Reform in Bangkok to discuss the streamlining of bankruptcy laws.

The event was attended by representatives of the courts of justice, banks, international organisations, bankruptcy professionals and specialists in business reorganisation from 21 countries.

Mr Wisit said the forum allowed policymakers and operations officers handling bankruptcy cases around the globe to share ideas on how to react to economic and social changes. The event also educated Thai officials about the bankruptcy laws in other countries, he noted.

He said favourable feedback has been given to measures that take care of small- and medium-sized enterprises under the country’s bankruptcy law.

“Although the law has been amended before, more amendments are needed,” said Mr Wisit.

According to him, debtors and their creditors should be allowed to discuss debt settlements under the court’s supervision following the creditors’ petition.

“The amendments can help boost confidence among foreigners that Thailand is committed to tackling related issues and making progress in settling debt issues in a systematic and proper way,” he said.

Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, director-general of the Legal Execution Department (LED), said three amendments have been made to the Bankruptcy Act over the past four years.

The government, she said, has made it clear that international standards should be applied to those facing bankruptcy.

“The amendment opens the opportunity for SMEs to enter the business reorganisation process for the first time,” said Ms Ruenvadee.

According to the LED chief, a law on cross-border insolvency has passed the cabinet consideration process and is currently being deliberated by the Council of State.

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