BoI told to fit pol­icy to chang­ing times

Bangkok Post - - BUSINESS - CHATRUDEE THEPARAT

The Board of In­vest­ment (BoI) has been in­structed to re­jig its in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion poli­cies to make them re­flect tech­no­log­i­cal changes, en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact re­duc­tion and Thai­land’s age­ing so­ci­ety.

The BoI was also told to bun­dle a pack­age of pro­mo­tional mea­sures of­fered by other state agen­cies.

“The BoI’s ex­ist­ing pro­mo­tional priv­i­leges are good, but they need to be im­proved to re­flect chang­ing fac­tors such as dis­rup­tive tech­nol­ogy,” said Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Somkid Ja­tus­rip­i­tak.

“The BoI’s pol­icy should pro­mote more so­cial in­vest­ment to cre­ate a bet­ter so­ci­ety such as pol­lu­tion re­duc­tion, en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact re­duc­tion and age­ing so­ci­ety sup­port.”

Mr Somkid told the BoI to of­fer more priv­i­leges to in­dus­tries Thai­land wants to pro­mote by com­ing up with a pol­icy that clearly dif­fer­en­ti­ates be­tween pri­or­ity sec­tors.

He said the priv­i­leges given to in­vest­ments in spe­cial eco­nomic zones in the East­ern Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (EEC) like the EEC dig­i­tal park and the EEC of in­no­va­tion should be at­trac­tive enough to draw in­vest­ment.

The pro­mo­tions should also sup­port the agri­cul­tural and agro-tourism sec­tor to con­tribute in­come to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

More im­por­tantly, Mr Somkid said the BoI is also re­quired to play a lead­ing role in in­cu­bat­ing new en­trepreneurs, es­pe­cially

tech star­tups and com­mu­nity busi­nesses.

Mean­while, a BoI meet­ing chaired by Prime Min­is­ter Prayut Chan-o-cha yes­ter­day ap­proved mea­sures to sup­port en­trepreneurs af­fected by a short­age of skilled work­ers, the gov­ern­ment’s daily min­i­mum wage hike and those who want to im­prove

pro­duc­tion through au­toma­tion.

Those en­trepreneurs will be el­i­gi­ble for a three-year cor­po­rate in­come tax ex­emp­tion on ex­ist­ing projects for up to 50% of their to­tal in­vest­ments, ex­clud­ing land costs and re­volv­ing funds.

El­i­gi­ble busi­nesses can also re­ceive

a 200% de­duc­tion on cor­po­rate in­come tax if they or­gan­ise train­ing pro­grammes to boost the dig­i­tal ca­pa­bil­i­ties of their staff.

The board also ap­proved spe­cial mea­sures for agri­cul­ture-based en­ter­prises.

The BoI has cut the min­i­mum cap­i­tal re­quire­ment for small-scale Thai en­trepreneurs who in­vest in farm-re­lated busi­ness to 500,000 baht from 1 mil­lion, while also al­low­ing them to em­ploy used ma­chin­ery.

Those busi­nesses are also el­i­gi­ble for a cor­po­rate in­come tax ex­emp­tion for 5-8 years on value not ex­ceed­ing 200% of their in­vest­ment costs.

Large or medium-sized busi­nesses that sup­port lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties or in­vest in lo­cal busi­nesses with in­vest­ment not ex­ceed­ing 1 mil­lion baht are also al­lowed to en­joy a three-year cor­po­rate in­come tax ex­emp­tion on ex­ist­ing projects, on value not ex­ceed­ing 100% of their to­tal in­vest­ment costs.

The BoI is aim­ing for 720 bil­lion baht in in­vest­ment ap­pli­ca­tions this year, up from 640 bil­lion last year.

The board yes­ter­day ap­proved an ethanol project from Im­press Ethanol Co worth 2.97 bil­lion baht. The project, in Cha­cho­engsao, will use 700,000 tonnes of tapi­oca to pro­duce 109 mil­lion litres of ethanol.

In sep­a­rate news, Kob­sak Pootrakool, the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice Min­is­ter, said yes­ter­day amend­ments to four laws in­tended to fa­cil­i­tate the ease of do­ing busi­ness in Thai­land are sched­uled to go be­fore the cabi­net for ap­proval soon.

The laws con­cern con­struc­tion per­mits, copy­right reg­is­tra­tion, in­ter­na­tional trade and bank­ruptcy.

“The gov­ern­ment be­lieves im­prove­ment of those laws will help up­grade Thai­land’s world rank­ing for its ease of do­ing busi­ness, mov­ing to 20th from 26th place in 2018,” he said.

CHANAT KATANYU

A BoI meet­ing chaired by Gen Prayut yes­ter­day ap­proved sev­eral mea­sures to sup­port en­trepreneurs.

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