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Tax breaks offered to encourage investment


THE GOVERNMENT has set a goal of boosting investment in Research and Development (R&D) to 1 per cent of GDP over the next three years.

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Hirunya Suchinai, secretary-general of the Board of Investment (BOI), said tax incentives would be offered for businesses investing in specific categories to help improve the country’s competitiveness in them.
These included technology, bio-industries, creative and digital industries, high-value businesses and services and advanced manufacturing. 
Similar incentives will also be offered in various other sectors, including agriculture, minerals, ceramics and basic metals, light industry, machinery & transport equipment, electronics & electrical appliances, chemicals, plus paper & plastics.
The BOI will provide businesses an eight-year income tax exemption in line with its seven-year investment promotion strategy (2015-2021).
It will also liaise with various institutions, including The National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), Kasetsart University and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDS), to promote and develop core technologies.
 “We are also negotiating with foreign and local investors to invest in technology so knowledge acquired overseas can be used locally,” said Hirunya. 
“However, the country must develop human resources to support new technology and innovation and thereby support the demands of the market.”
She said that Thai investors had last year invested around 0.6 per cent of GDP in R&D and she expected this to rise to 1 per cent by 2020.
In the past R&D investment had been 70 per cent and 30 per cent private but the BOI hoped the tax incentives would encourage a higher involvement by the private sector, Hirunya added.
In the short term the BOI is hoping to attract Bt600 billion in foreign investment in Thailand by the end of this year, an increase on last year’s Bt584 billion. 
Japanese investors topped the list, followed by Chinese investors, who were also the biggest new investors in such sectors as solar cell technology and automobile equipment. 
“We are now seen as an investment hub for electronics, petrochemicals and automobile industries,” said Hirunya. 
“These will be a driver for the growth of Thailand’s exports and will help us to use technology expertise gained overseas in our local markets. 
“The BOI will also help to boost local investment and create confidence among local investors.”
Hirunya believed growing investor confidence would also propel the country towards Thailand 4.0 – the government’s vision to transform the economy into one driven by technological innovations.
 

Published : August 27, 2017

By : JIRAPAN BOONNOON THE NATION