BOI adds incentives for communities, attracting hi-tech

5 boi 2Thailand’s Board of Investment unveiled additional tax incentives for firms whose investments will help local communities and their economies, while a Board spokesperson said its incentives to attract high-technology firms have succeeded in drawing the interest of French, British and Japanese companies to expand their investments in the Kingdom.

Board of Investment (BOI) officials said that large companies that set up small-scale factories in rural areas would be entitled to additional corporate tax waivers for three years, while community-based businesses will be given corporate income tax exemptions for five years. The BOI has long sought to steer investment to rural areas to lessen disparities in development, wealth and opportunities.

“The government aims to promote local investment in order to boost the local economy and increase the value of agricultural products. It also wants to promote the One Tambon One SME project and promote tourism in local areas,” said BOI secretary-general Hiranya Sujinai.

Investors must submit applications to the BOI this year and begin operations next year, she said.

BOI officials also said their policies to attract high-technology foreign firms was producing positive results. Sonklin Ploymee, director of the BOI Unit for Industrial Linkage Development (Build), said two companies have said they are interested in expanding their investments in Thailand based on BOI incentives. The companies were Zodiac Aerospace, a French developer of aerospace equipment and systems, and Lucy Electrics, a British manufacturer of industrial switchgears.

In addition, the government said it will allow the private sector to invest in a planned automotive research and design testing center. Thailand is the automotive capital of Southeast Asia, but has served mainly as an assembly base. The research and development division of the planned testing center in Chachoengsao province should advance Thailand’s creative capabilities.

The division will be set up in the form of a public-private partnership (PPP) at a cost of $22 million, part of the $125 million the government set aside to build the testing center by 2020, said Nattapol Rangsitpol, deputy secretary-general of the Thai Industrial Standards Institute. The division will support testing of auto parts and car tires in order to improve standards of local manufacture, especially at small and medium-sized enterprises.
Also last week, the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) signed a new cooperation agreement  with Japan’s Kyoto University for research collaboration on energy and the environment.

“Kyoto University has an enduring research cooperation with the Institute of Energy and Environment and research institutes in Thailand,” NSTDA executive vice president Narong Sirilertworakul said.

The aim of the research is to increase the usage of biomass as a high-value source for energy and chemicals. The collaboration will include researchers from the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, the National Metal and Materials Technology Center and the National Nanotechnology Center.