In December 2014, the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) announced the country's new 7-year (2015-2021) investment promotion strategy, which is designed to adapt to changing national development objectives by promoting inbound value-added investments and Thai investments overseas to enhance the country's competitiveness, overcome the 'middle-income trap', and achieve sustainable growth in accordance with the sufficiency economy philosophy.
At the seminar unveiling the change, Prime Minister, General Prayuth Chan-ocha told investors, "The BOI's new investment promotion strategies are vital for the country's long-term development and sustainable growth."
The new investment promotion policy will give priority to investments that are beneficial to and supportive of the country's overall development strategy, including high-tech and creative industries, service industries that support the development of a digital economy, and industries that utilize local resources.
New Approach to Granting Investment Incentives
Standard BOI Incentives
Eligible business activities are divided into two groups.
Group A includes activities that are important to support national economic restructuring, and the BOI offers projects in these activities corporate income tax holidays of 3-8 years, tax privileges related to machinery and raw materials and non-tax incentives.
Knowledge-based activities, focusing on R&D and design to enhance the country's competitiveness and activities in infrastructure for the country's development, activities using advanced technology to create value added, with none or very few existing investments in Thailand receive 8-year corporate income tax holidays.
High technology activities which are important to the country's development with a few investments already existing in Thailand receive a 5-year tax holiday and activities with lower technology but which add value to domestic resources and strengthen supply chain are eligible for three-year tax holidays.
Group B includes activities that do not employ high technology, but still are important to the value chain. BOI will offer non-tax incentives, as well as tax privileges related to machinery and raw materials.
Knowledge-based activities, focusing on R&D and design to enhance the country's competitiveness (8-year CIT exemption of without cap, exemption of import duty on machinery/raw materials and non-tax incentives)
Activities in infrastructure for the country's development, activities using advanced technology to create value added, with none or very few existing investment in Thailand (8-years CIT exemption, exemption of import duty on machinery/raw materials and non-tax incentives)
High technology activities which are important to the country's development, with a few investment already existing in Thailand (5-year CIT exemption, exemption of import duty on machinery/raw materials and non-tax incentives)
Activities with lower technology than A1-A3 but add value to domestic resources and strengthen supply chain (3-year CIT exemption, exemption of import duty on machinery and non-tax incentives)
Supporting industries that do not use high technology but are still important to value chain (B1 : Exemption of import duty on machinery/raw materials and non-tax incentives B2 : Exemption of import duty on raw materials and non-tax incentives)
While the BOI zoning system has been abolished under the new policy, investment projects in industrial estates will be offered an additional year of corporate income tax exemption and projects in the 20-lower income provinces will receive an additional 3 years of incentives under their basic rights in accordance with the type of industry being operated.
In addition, projects that make investments/expenditures related to competitiveness enhancement in the following six areas are eligible for an additional 1-3 years of corporate income tax exemption based on the investment/ expenditure ratio.
- R&D: in-house, outsourced in Thailand or joint R&D with overseas institutes
- Donations to Technology and Human Resources Development Funds, educational institutes, specialized training centers, R&D institutes or governmental agencies in S&T field in Thailand, as approved by the Board
- IP acquisition/licensing fees for commercializing technology developed in Thailand
- Advanced technology training
- Development of local suppliers with at least 51% Thai shareholding in advanced technology training and technical assistance
- Product & Packaging Design: in-house or outsourced in Thailand, as approved by the Board
Note that the total corporate income tax holiday may not exceed 8 years.
Promotion of SMEs
Measures were also approved to upgrade Thai SMEs' capability, with 38 eligible activities from the Seven-Year Investment Strategy will be selected for SMEs to receive incentives. The measure will offer an additional two-year corporate income tax exemption to enhance their competitiveness and encourage investment. This policy will be effective from 1 January 2015-31 December 2017.
For more information, please visit http://www.boi.go.th