BOI announces two new categories for special promotion

The Board of Investment announced two new categories eligible for special promotion; digital backbone infrastructure and automotive and electrical parts design in a bid to bring more investment in fiber-optic and submarine cable installation, and automotive and electrical parts design. Companies starting up in automotive and electrical parts design must support high-technology development. Applicants will be entitled to corporate income tax exception for eight years from five years. The BOI also approved a plan to establish a strategic partner center(STC) to promote foreign investment by facilitating the work permit and visa processes for foreign investors and to coordinate with other state agencies and help procure skilled workers, both Thai and foreign, for foreign firms that invest in 10 targeted industries.

Thailand is the largest exporter of food products in ASEAN and the 12th largest world-wide. The Deputy Prime Minister said that Thai food exports are expected to grow by 10.8% this year to US$26.6 billion (900 billion baht), last year Thailand exported US$ 24 billion baht in food products. The government is working to promote more innovative food products with added-value. The government wants to turn Thailand into a global center of food research & development and food products as one of the ten targeted industries for BOI promotion privileges.

The Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD) of the Royal Thai Police is cracking down on companies using pirated software in raids in Bangkok and nearby provinces. The software copyright violation most commonly found was businesses using one licensed copy to install a program on multiple PCs. In the first quarter of 2017 the ECD reported that more than 50 businesses were found using unlicensed software on more than 600 PCs, with the value of software used illegally reaching over 90 million baht. Businesses that use unlicensed software may be subject to criminal and civil penalties including substantial fines and prison under the Thai Copyright Act.

A draft agreement was approved by the Thai Cabinet last week and a cooperation agreement will be signed with Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. to implement eight major development projects, including the construction of the Bangkok – Chiang Mai high-speed railway line using Japanese technology during his visit to Tokyo from June 4-6. The feasibility report on the railway will be completed this year; construction of the railway will be divided into two parts: Bangkok-Phitsanulok and Phitsanulok-Chiang Mai. Other projects include two new high-speed railway projects, including a transnational route linking Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), one linking Bangkok to Rayong as part of the Eastern Economic Corridor. Other projects under study are development of commercial areas near a rail route from Kanchanburi province to Aranyaprathet border checkpoint, a rail system for goods transport, and a rail route linking Nakhon Sawan and Khon Kaen under the East-West Economic Corridor project.

Work Permit

Any foreigner working in Thailand must obtain a Work Permit before beginning work. While a prospective employer may file an application on the foreigner’s behalf in advance of his starting work, the actual Work Permit will not be issued until the foreigner has entered Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws and has presented himself to receive his Work Permit.

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