BoI offers tax incentives to boost production technology
Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit expects Thailand to become a leading country with robotic and automation technology by 2026, following investments in robot-based production systems.
The country is emphasising robotics, automation and system integration (SI) development in a move to eventually produce technologies of its own.
"Thailand is currently in a middle-term development plan from 2018 to 2021 to develop these technologies in line with the government's S-curve scheme," Mr Suriya said.
During this period, the investment value for automation and robotic systems has been around 116 billion baht.
There are also 74 SI-related businesses registered with the Center of Robotic Excellence (CORE).
According to the ministry, 25% of factories use automation and robotics technology.
More domestic production of robots will also reduce imports of robotic technology by 12%.
The government has been promoting robotic and automation systems under the Industry 4.0 scheme (the fourth industrial revolution), which encourages factory operators to blend digital technology with data analysis.
At present, only 2% of Thai industries are considered to be Industry 4.0 using advanced technology in their operations, according to the ministry.
Some 28% are in Industry 3.0 with less high technology and 61% in Industry 2.0.
Only 9% are in the stage of Industry 1.0, the lowest level of technological development.
Officials believe the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to a rise in remote work and automation to avoid crowding at factories, will encourage many countries to adopt more advanced technology.
The Board of Investment is offering 50% corporate income tax reduction lasting three years to promote investment in technology upgrades and production efficiency improvements.