New laws to boost private investment
Increase of 50 billion baht expected in 2017
The government expects private investment to flourish next year, boosted by generous tax perks, non-tax privileges and friendly investment conditions.
According to Prime Minister's Office Minister Suvit Maesincee, new private investment is expected to amount to 600 billion baht next year from estimated 550 billion baht this year.
"Thailand's private investment is expected to see a new dimension next year, now that the government has launched several projects to promote and stimulate investment as well as the generous corporate tax exemption for 15 years," he said.
According to Mr Suvit, the National Legislative Assembly has also already approved a draft amendment to the Investment Promotion Act of 1977 and the draft bill to set up a competitiveness fund to provide financial support.
The two new acts are expected to come into force early next year.
Only the technology and research and development categories will be eligible for the Board of Investment's highest privileges.
The BoI will later offer privilege details for each investment category.
According to Mr Suvit, the government also has a new tool dubbed "BoI Plus" under the new Competitiveness Fund Act to attract foreign investment.
The act will allow the Finance Ministry to offer a corporate income tax waiver to investors for up to 15 years, as well as financial support from the 10-billion-baht competitiveness fund.
"The BoI Plus scheme will be offered to target foreign investment projects that the government is approaching to open factories in Thailand," Mr Suvit said, adding that only high tech and research and development projects will be entitled to the BoI Plus incentive.
Target foreign investors include Japan, China, Taiwan, France, and Germany.
Mr Suvit said the draft bills on special economic zone development and the Eastern Economic Corridor are pending the Council of the State's vetting, and are expected to take effect next year.
The two acts will also attract private investment, as investors will be allowed to enjoy more privileges if they set up factories in the two zones.
BoI secretary-general Hiranya Suchinai said yesterday that investment applications fetched 500 billion baht in the first 11 months of 2016, allowing the agency to end the year with new investment worth 550 billion baht as targeted.
The BoI yesterday approved promotional privileges for six large-scale investment projects worth a combined 24.5 billion baht.
Those investment projects include China's Jiangsu Xingda Steel Cord Co, which will invest 5.13 billion baht to set up a steel cord factory in Chon Buri.
This is the first overseas investment from the Chinese steel cord maker, which aims to use Thailand as a production springboard for Asian market and to supply Thai tyre producers with steel rod.