Thailand’s continuing efforts to create a complete and inclusive ecosystem that will support the country’s digital industry has progressed rapidly over the last couple of years, a recent report noted.
The progression is a result of the Thai government’s top initiatives such as Digital Park Thailand (EECD) and the Smart City movement.
This development of cutting-edge infrastructural facilities to support these initiatives has brought unprecedented opportunities for investors and business leaders, according to Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI).
The BOI has continued to introduce new investment schemes and improve existing ones with the intention of attracting foreign and domestic investments in Thailand’s digital industry.
As part of this effort, investments in high value-added digital industries that meet the criteria will be granted a corporate income tax (CIT) exemption of maximum up to 8 years.
The types of digital businesses that are seeing an increasing number of applications for investment incentives include software development, digital platform services, cloud services and innovation incubation centres.
In 2018, the BOI received applications for investment privileges from 194 investment projects in the digital industry. The projects amounted to a total worth of 13,162 million baht and were mostly in the fields of enterprise software, digital content and embedded software.
In addition, investment projects in the digital industry located in EECD that have collaboration with educational institutions to develop human resources will be eligible for a CIT exemption for up to 13 years. In particular, target activities in the EECD that are entitled to maximum investment incentives include software development, digital services, digital parks, data centres, innovation incubation centres, cloud services, R&D, and relevant services.
In addition, the BOI launched an investment incentive scheme for the Smart City initiative, which is designed to upgrade people’s quality of life with seven intelligent platforms; namely, Smart Environment, Smart Mobility, Smart People, Smart Living, Smart Economy, Smart Governance and Smart Energy.
Investments in Smart City projects will be eligible for a CIT exemption for 5-to-8 years. Investment projects located in the Eastern Economic Corridor will be eligible for a 50% reduction in CIT for an additional five years after the end of the CIT incentive period. Promotional privileges have covered three business activities, including Smart City development, Smart City system development, and smart industrial estates or zones.
The Phaholyothin Transportation Center project, which is the Bangkok metropolitan area’s new transportation hub with seamless connections of rail and road transportation at Bang Sue, has been chosen as a target area for the Smart City development initiative.
The new smart business complex project, implemented under the public-private partnership scheme with the investment agreement expected to be finalized by the end of 2019, is expected to become the new hub of urban and economic development. It will boost the ease and convenience of transportation.
Recently, a new measure has been introduced to offer investment privileges to digital and innovation ecosystem facilities, including innovation incubation centres, maker spaces or fabrication laboratories, and co-working spaces.
True Digital Park, Thailand’s first digital park, received investment privileges from BOI worth approximately 1,580 million baht. The Park is developing a robust strategy to enable the enhancement of Thailand’s digital industry.
Located on Sukhumvit Road, one of Bangkok’ most dynamic business districts, the park is poised to become a global start-up destination for technology and innovation development in Thailand. It will connect international start-ups, entrepreneurs, tech companies, accelerators, incubators, academies and government agencies.
Spanning over 41,000 square meters, True Digital Park is fully equipped with all amenities for digital businesses including:
– innovation creation spaces
– co-working spaces
– technology labs
– learning and training centres
– events and business service spaces
– one-stop service centres, and
– spaces for academies co-create innovations