BoI approves investment, tourism incentives

BoI approves investment, tourism incentives

The Board of Investment (BoI) on Thursday approved a wide range of measures to accelerate investment and support key sectors of the economy, from large-scale projects to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as incentives to help strengthen the grassroots economy and the tourism industry.

“The measures approved today by the BoI aim to support investment at all levels, from large projects with a significant economic impact to community-level businesses,” Duangjai Asawachintachit, secretary-general of the BoI, said at a press briefing after a board meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

In a follow-up to the Thailand Plus package announced by the BoI last September, the first approved measure aims to accelerate investment in large-scale projects eligible for corporate income tax exemptions for five to eight years. The measure offers an additional 50% corporate income tax deduction for a period of five years if the project realises an investment of at least 500 million baht in 2020 or a total of at least 1 billion baht by the end of 2021, Ms Duangjai said.

Qualified projects must submit applications before Dec 30, 2020.

To encourage the private sector to participate more actively in improving the competitiveness of the grassroots economy, in activities like agriculture and agricultural processing, light industries and community tourism, the BoI approved an extension and improvement of the promotion measures giving companies tax benefits when they invest in projects supporting the grassroots economy through enhancing the competitiveness of cooperatives and village enterprises.

The new definition of qualified applicants now includes businesses that have not previously received BoI promotion privileges, as long as they operate in sectors promoted by the BoI. Also, businesses currently enjoying a corporate income tax exemption can claim additional tax benefits if they invest or spend to support the grassroots economy. Applications for this scheme must be submitted by the end of 2021.

To support the tourism sector, encourage the development of environmentally friendly infrastructure in tourist areas and promote tourism in lesser-known provinces, the BoI approved an extension of tax privileges already granted to investments in cable car projects at tourist sites to include electric-powered tramways with investments worth at least 100 million baht, Ms Duangjai said.

In another measure to support tourism, the BoI approved a relaxation of the conditions for the hotel business, particularly for SME operators. Enhanced tax incentives were also granted to hotels in the 55 provinces that are less visited by tourists.

In 2019, investment applications filed through the BoI reached 756.1 billion baht, beating the government’s target, the board said last month. Out of the total value of these applications, 506.2 billion baht (67%) were applications for foreign direct investment.

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