Thailand’s ministers recently gathered at an economic meeting and endorsed a package of measures, called ‘Thailand Plus’.
The package aims to attract more foreign investment, particularly in tech, according to the country’s Deputy Secretary-General to the Prime Minister.
The new package covers comprehensive measures that will enhance Thailand’s attractiveness as an investment location, including investment acceleration incentives, fiscal measures supporting STEM manpower development, deregulation, and improved pre- and post-investment services.
The details of the proposed Thailand Plus Package are as follows:
- Enhanced investment incentives: Investment projects worth at least THB1 billion in the identified activities submitted to Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) by the end of 2020 will be entitled to additional 5 years of 50% reduction of corporate income tax given that at least THB1 billion of actual investment is put in place by December 2021.
- STEM Manpower development support: Employers will be eligible to special deduction of training expenses related to advanced technology endorsed by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation in order to expedite reskilling and upskilling of the workforce. Expenses spent hiring new highly skilled manpower, in fields of science and technology will also be entitled to special deduction.
- Moreover, the Board of Investment will also upgrade its incentives scheme with a view to encouraging the industry to be actively engaged in STEM training.
- Automation investment support: Investments in automation systems will be entitled to double deduction with a view to further strengthening and accelerating the transformation of Thailand’s industry.
- Enhanced investment facilitation: An investment steering committee, chaired by the Prime Minister, will be set up to coordinate the consideration and facilitation of the investment projects, especially those involving large investments.
It was noted that Thailand’s economic development policy is in line with South Korea’s New Southern Policy, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Indo-Pacific strategy of Japan and the United States, and India’s Look East Policy.
Thailand is also a prominent hub linking the countries in mainland Southeast Asia, or CLMVT (namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand), and ACMECS (Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy) area.
The Secretary-General of BOI stated also added that in order to increase the ease of doing business in the country, the government aims to reduce constraints faced by foreign investors, especially in target industries.
Further facilitation measures will also be added such as the extension of “smart visa” to enhance the pool of foreign talents in Thailand.
This Thailand Plus package is expected to help Thailand attract more targeted investments. The proposed investment incentives by the Board of Investment that are discussed today will be submitted to our Board for final approval at the upcoming meeting.
These new incentives will help push the country’s Thailand 4.0, an engine to propel new economic growth through the transformation of “comparative advantage” into “competitive advantage”.
This approach will fulfil the country with knowledge, creativity, innovation, science, technology, research and innovation.
One of its tools to propel technology clusters and targeted industries includes measures to propel national research by creating a network alliance to propel basic and applied research to national and international level, putting a research fund for innovation development in place to continue transnational research, allowing tax exemptions on the import of materials for research.