Yes, your prayes have been answered, Kiva is in Thailand. Sort of.
Kiva now has a Fellow in Thailand (yours truely) working to establish Kiva’s presence.After communicating with MFI’s throughout the country we have come to the realization of 2 arguments;
1) Kiva is needed in Thailand and 2)Kiva is wanted in Thailand. You might then ask yourself, “Why isn’t Kiva in Thailand then?” Well, I’ll tell ya Mr.Smartguy. Currently, the Thai government has an imposed 15% withholding fee on any loan originating outside of the country and filtering in. This, as you may have noticed makes an interest free Kiva loan fairly expensive. At the moment Kiva is exploring all nooks and crannys that may hold a way around this withholding tax.
If you are reading this and wondering, “What can I do to help Kiva get a foothold in Thailand?” Then you are an awesome person but, if you’re not an international tax lawyer specializing in Thai laws, you can always lend. To anybody, here’s somebody http://www.kiva.org/lend/206956. Ms. Seng Leng from Cambodia. She’s a farmer and she looks like a very nice lady. Just make sure to join the Thailand lending team to show your support for Kiva in Thailand. I love Cambodia so I’m a bit biased, the choice is yours. If you are a tax lawyer specializing in Thai tax laws then please feel free to get in touch with me. I might even buy us some Pad Thai.