Finance Ministry seeks ways to boost bio-economy
Privileges to lure investment possible
The government may use the tools of the Finance Ministry to increase promotional privileges for investment in bio-economic corridors to entice investors.
Anek Memongkol, deputy secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), said that in order to make investment more attractive, incentives from the Finance Ministry may be added to privileges for investment in bio-economic corridors awarded by the Board of Investment (BoI).
"The government aims to develop bio-economic corridors in several regions to generate more income, especially in the farm sector," Mr Anek said.
Under BoI law, the agency is allowed to offer the sector the highest privileges: a corporate income tax exemption for eight years and a 50% reduction in corporate income tax rate for five years once the tax holiday lapses.
The Finance Ministry is authorised to offer corporate income tax waivers for up to 13 years and reduce additional corporate income tax after the tax holiday ends.
The bio-economy scheme is part of the Pracha Rat initiative, whereby the government will promote value-added agricultural products and increase local household income.
The cabinet in April 2019 approved the first bio-economy development plan.
The bio-economy plan has five sectors: bio-energy, bio-chemicals, food, animal feed and bio-pharmaceuticals.
The government also assigned the BoI to propose incentive packages for those who invest in the bio-economy.
In February the BoI approved in principle the promotion of Thailand as a bio-economy hub, in line with the government's policy to reduce income inequality and develop new S-curve industries.
The BoI is also required to include community businesses, farmers and cooperatives in promotional packages to generate more income.