BANGKOK: Thailand’s strategically important geographic location gives it ample advantage to become a primary regional economic hub, not only in trade, investment and tourism, but also in communication and transportation networks that connect to other regions around the world. And the government has in recent years made investment in domestic infrastructure its top priority.
The Thailand infrastructure action plan for 2017 is worth US25.2 billion and includes 36 projects, covering rail, roads, air transport and ports around the country. The government plans to begin selling Thailand Future Fund investment units in October as an infrastructure investment alternative. It’s a way of raising liquidity from the public for the construction of massive state infrastructure projects. The unit sales are expected to reap 1.1 billion.
The Industry Ministry recently revealed that Thailand’s emerging Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is expected to see investment in infrastructure projects reach 43 billion in the next five years– for airport expansion, new railways and cities, port development and spurring modern industry.
Helping ensure the success of its infrastructure development, the government will provide full support, including eliminating barriers, rules and regulations in order to generate real, high-value investments, as well as a one-stop service to facilitate investment in the EEC. The Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) in turn offers enticing and competitive privileges, including a corporate tax holiday for up to 15 years, exemption from import duties on machinery and raw materials, 17% personal income tax credits for executives, experts and researchers working in designated zones, grants to support investments in R & D, innovation and human resource development, permission to own land for promoted activities, and one-stop service to facilitate business operations.