Cabinet okays 10-year EEC visa for foreigners
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Cabinet okays 10-year EEC visa for foreigners

The cabinet has approved a special 10-year visa for executives and experts working in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to support the development of targeted industries in the country.

Speaking after a mobile cabinet meeting in Phetchaburi province on Tuesday, deputy government spokeswoman Rudklao Intawong Suwankiri said the cabinet passed the proposal from the EEC Office for the EEC visa, aiming to attract specialists in various fields to work in the corridor.

This visa is valid for 10 years, allowing multiple entries and exits, but does not exceed the duration of the employment contract.

Initially the visa allows entry and stays in Thailand for up to five years.

There are four categories for the EEC visa: (1) specialists (EEC Visa "S"), (2) executives (EEC visa "E"), (3) professionals (EEC visa "P"), and (4) spouses and dependents (EEC visa "O").

In addition to this special visa, specialists residing and working in the EEC can benefit from a special personal income tax rate of 17%, compared with the current progressive income tax rate in Thailand, which has a maximum rate of 35%.

According to Mrs Rudklao, the EEC visa should promote the country's target industries and enhance national competitiveness.

In a separate development, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Tuesday ordered the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry to develop a plan to improve agricultural infrastructure, aiming to elevate Thailand to a regional farming and food hub that can increase farmers' income by threefold.

Speaking after the cabinet meeting, government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said the premier's directive aligns with Thailand's vision to become a hub for agriculture and food, contributing to global food security.

According to Mr Chai, the prime minister instructed various agencies to complete related project plans by the end of May, with the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry scheduled to provide detailed announcements by the end of this month and expedite actions by June.

The infrastructure improvement plan includes: developing Thailand into a global centre for plant genetics; increasing the efficiency of water retention, drainage and irrigated areas, while accelerating the development of water sources for agriculture; soil testing; and promoting appropriate fertiliser use in all areas.

Other issues include urgently addressing agricultural burning through satellite technology; proposing plans and accelerating the production of disease-resistant cassava, along with plans for disease management; and promoting the cultivation of coffee and cocoa, both high-income crops, to reduce burning on highland areas.

In addition, the cabinet approved a memorandum of understanding between Thailand and Saudi Arabia to promote agricultural cooperation between the two countries.

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