Nearly 3,000 foreigners have applied for long-term resident (LTR) visas and about 500 regional headquarters projects have obtained promotional privileges from the state, deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said on Friday.
A total of 2,920 foreigners applied for LTR visas from Nov 1 last year to Feb 28, Ms Traisuree said.
They included 195 highly wealthy people, 1,011 wealthy retirees, 771 foreigners who want to work from Thailand, 390 specialists and 553 followers of those applicants.
European applicants, 940, formed the biggest group of LTR visa applicants, followed by 517 Americans and 325 Chinese people.
The Board of Investment (BOI) had already offered promotional privileges to about 500 projects of foreign companies to build their regional headquarters in Thailand, with a combined investment of 13 billion baht.
Most of the companies were from Japan, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong and France. Well-known companies included Agoda, Huawei Technologies, Arçelik Hitachi, Ajinomoto, Nissin Foods, Alstom, Toyota Motor and Nippon Steel.
From their planned regional hubs in Thailand, the companies would supervise and support the operations of their subsidiaries in countries in the same region.
The government wanted to attract such regional headquarters as well as wealthy and capable foreigners to the country so that they would transfer knowledge and innovations to Thai people working with them, the spokeswoman said.