Thailand strengthens incentives to attract foreigners

September 20, 2021 | 16:53
The Thai Customs Department is preparing to reduce import duty on alcoholic beverages and cigars by 50 percent for five years in line with the government's economic stimulus and investment promotion package.
Staff members of a taxi rental garage plant vegetables on the roof of one of the firm's vehicles currently out of service due to the downturn in business as a result of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in Bangkok on September 15, 2021. Jack TAYLOR / AFP
Staff members of a taxi rental garage plant vegetables on the roof of one of the firm's vehicles currently out of service due to the downturn in business as a result of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in Bangkok on September 15, 2021. Jack TAYLOR / AFP

Bangkok - The Thai Customs Department is preparing to reduce import duty on alcoholic beverages and cigars by 50 percent for five years in line with the government's economic stimulus and investment promotion package.

The cuts are in accordance with the September 14 cabinet resolution involving plans to revive the post-COVID-19 economy by encouraging wealthy foreigners and highly skilled professionals to stay and work in the country, the Bangkok Post quoted Patchara Anuntasilpa, director-general of the department, as saying

The programme is hoped to attract more than 1 million qualified people to Thailand over the next five years and generated around 1 trillion baht (30 billion USD) during the period. Cuts in import duties will be part of the mix.

Thailand estimates that the group is expected to spend on average 1 million baht (nearly 30,000 USD) per person per year while living and working in the country.

Benefits in the package also include a 10-year Thai visa for approved special visitors along with their spouses and children, the same rates of income tax as Thai citizens, a tax exemption for income earned abroad, and the right to ownership of property and land.

Patchara said that about 30 percent of products are likely to be covered by the planned cuts and ministerial regulations will be announced after the changes are made. The Customs Department is also preparing to amend customs procedures for personal items for arriving and departing passengers, he added.

Earlier, Government Spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana on September 14 said that the Cabinet had approved in principle measures to attract high potential foreigners to stay in Thailand long term.

The plan aimed to draw four groups – wealthy global citizens, pensioners from overseas, those wanting to work in Thailand and highly skilled professionals. Long-term visas would be issued for high-potential foreigners, who would be granted exemption and benefits during their stay, such as not having to do 90-day reporting.

The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) expected that measures implemented over five fiscal years (2022 to 2026) would draw one million foreigners with spending of around one trillion baht.

Investment would be increased by 800 billion baht plus 270 billion baht in additional tax revenue, according to Thanakorn.

VNA

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