By The Nation
The US company’s executives made the announcement at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum on the sidelines of the Asean Summit on Monday.
“We have centralised our production base in the region,” said Alexis Underwood, general manager of Guardian for the Asia Pacific “We are excited to continue our expansion in Thailand, with the country serving as a critical base for our Asia-Pacific business.”
The firm has invested about $100 million (Bt3 billion) over the past five years in Thailand, she said.
The company manufactures glass used in the construction and automotive industries. It exports about 50 per cent of its production to other countries in the Asia Pacific, with Australia and Japan being its two largest markets.
The Michigan-based firm has been investing in Thailand since the 1990s. It has two factories in the country – one in Saraburi province, north of Bangkok, and the other in Rayong, east of Bangkok.
Thailand has in recent years offered generous tax and other incentives for multinational companies which set up regional operating headquarters (ROH) in the country.
For example, the Revenue Department offers a corporate income tax reduction from 20 per cent to 10 per cent on net profit deriving from offshore branches and associated companies, tax exemption for dividends received from the ROH’s domestic or foreign subsidiaries, withholding tax exemption for dividends paid out from the ROH to foreign companies that do not carry on business in Thailand. The department also offers personal income tax reduction on salaries for expatriates working at regional headquarters at the rate of 15 per cent instead of the progressive tax rate of 5-35 per cent.
Furthermore, the Board of Investment has given foreign investors permission to own land, permission to bring in foreign experts and technicians, with work permit and visa facilitation.