As part of the strategy to attract foreign investment, the 2013 reduction of its corporate income tax level to 20% saw the country’s corporate tax rate become the second lowest in the ASEAN bloc, behind only Singapore.
Two years later, in 2015, Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) announced a seven-year investment promotion strategy. This had a specific focus on investments intended to enhance national competitiveness, as well as activities that were environmentally friendly, energy saving or using alternative energy. It also looked to boost clusters that created an investment concentration based on regional potential, while strengthening the value chain. In particular, it aimed to nurture investments in the border provinces of southern Thailand, which could develop the local economy, as well as special economic zones capable of fostering economic connectivity with nearby countries. Additionally, it outlined plans to attract overseas investment in order to enhance the competitiveness of Thai businesses, while boosting the country’s role within the wider global economy.
Among the incentives on offer to help realise these strategic goals are a number of tax concessions, land ownership deals, and streamlined investment procedures, as well as import duty exemptions/reductions relating to activities that meet national development objectives. Additionally, any manufacturing company in receipt of investment promotion privileges is exempt from both foreign equity restrictions and local content and export requirements..