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Board of Investment Thailand focusing on human resources

Board of Investment Thailand focusing on human resources, technology transfer and digitalisation of services to support Thailand 4.0

The new Secretary General of the Board of Investment (BOI) Thailand,
Ms. Duangjai Asawachintachit, spoke
to the international media for the first time recently, outlining some of the
focus areas for supporting the Government’s Thailand 4.0 strategy. The BOI is the
principal government agency for encouraging investment in the country.

She said that the BOI intends to attract more investment
projects and encourage existing investors to improve production efficiency. To
achieve these objectives, the BOI sees its role in the next six to 12 months
from now as ensuring existing investment policy continuity.

When some of the existing promotion schemes expire at the end
of this year, the BOI will consider new measures to maintain momentum and drive
the country’s transformation under Thailand 4.0 model to become a value and
innovation-based country.

In addition to the core incentives launched back in 2015,
new promotional incentive schemes were recently introduced to continue the
momentum of investment in targeted industries (there are 10 targeted industries divided into First
S-curve or five existing industrial sectors, which can be developed by adding
value through advanced technologies New S-curve or five sectors which can serve
as growth engines to accelerate Thailand’s future growth
), especially in agriculture.

Incentives for smart
agriculture

Last month, BOI approved the addition of a new category for
promotional privileges – Production or Service Providers for Modern
Agriculture. Under this new category, projects providing services on advanced
technology and automatic control system to operate farms are eligible for
five-year corporate tax exemption.

The BOI has also introduced measures to promote improvement
in production efficiency of existing agricultural investors through
implementation of technology and machinery upgrade to meet with such
international standards and certifications as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
and ISO22000 Food Safety management.

Under these measures, corporate income tax holiday is
offered, within a 50 per cent cap of the total investment, for the upgrade. Applications
are being accepted until 2020. For production efficiency improvement, BOI is
also offering a three-year corporate income tax exemption within 50 per cent
cap of the total investment. In view of the good response to the measure, BOI
has extended the application submission date from 2017 to 2020.

Human resources and
technology transfer

Ms. Duangjai said, “Apart from those measures to continue,
we will also focus on promoting investment in human resources and technology
transfer to prepare our industries and people for value- and innovation based
investment in the future.”

This includes incentives for investment in R&D,
vocational training, technology transfer in the four core technologies –
biotechnology, Nano technology, advanced materials and digital technology.

In July, BOI  established a
Strategic Talent Centre (STC),
to enhance the availability of required manpower in the fields of science and
technology, especially for the 10
targeted S-Curve industries
. The STC provides services for identifying
available specialists or researchers in the fields of science and technology
(S&T), thereby supporting the private sector in conducting R&D and
innovation activities.

Some of the measures, especially those directed towards
assisting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) or business valued below 200
million baht (USD 6 million) will expire end of this year. The BOI will study
and consider new measures to assist investment for this group of investors and
to promote competitiveness in each region across the country.

Digitalisation of
services

“In addition to attracting new and facilitating existing
investment projects, another major role of BOI is to provide the best possible
service and facilitation. We have done two things here which are service improvement
and reorganization,” added Ms. Duangjai.

BOI is in the process of digitalising its services. The website
services are being improved to become more interactive. Features such as push
notification and single window service have been introduced for more convenient
visa and work permit process.

Meanwhile, the office of BOI has undergone restructuring to
meet the needs of new technology-based driven policy. The four sectoral bureaus
have been reorganised
into 5 sectoral divisions
: creative and digital industries; bio and medical
industries; advanced manufacturing; high-value services; and basic and
supporting industries.

“You will see that what we are doing now is to offer
promotional incentives for both demand and supply sides. We also improve our
BOI’s services. We ensure transparency in our process and criteria. These will
support the transformation towards Thailand 4.0 model,” said Ms. Duangjai.

Featured image: Nik Cyclist from
Bangkok, Thailand (Source: Bangkok Business Area)/
Credit: CC BY 2.0

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