Thailand 4.0 and the food industry
The Thai government is working to develop biotechnology and agricultural technology in line with the Thailand 4.0 plan to move Thailand from an industry based economy to that of science and technology, research and development and innovation. The government set up the Food Innopolis at the Thailand Science Park in Pathum Thani in 2016 as a global food innovation hub to support research and development and innovation for the food industry. There are now 32 food related companies at the park with more planning on joining in the near future. The BOI offers special incentives for companies at the park, including a 0% corporate tax up to ten years, import duty exemptions and 300% tax deductions for R&D expenses.
The Agriculture and Biotechnology and Food Innovation are just some of the targeted industries under Thailand 4.0 plan. The industries can be divided into two segments; developing existing industrial sectors by adding value through advanced technologies for five industries: Next-Generation Automotive; Smart Electronics; High-Income Tourism and Medical Tourism. The government has targeted five additional growth engines to accelerate Thailand’s future growth: Automation and Robotics; Aerospace; Bio-Energy and Bio-chemicals; Digital; and Medical and Healthcare. The Eastern Economic Corridor is another key element in this goal, offering foreign investors special promotions including income tax breaks for the researchers and experts along with corporate tax breaks and more.
The national committee on logistics development agreed to establish a unit for the management and development of a single window that will link electronic information for imports, exports and logistics. The Customs Department has been instructed to undergo organizational restructuring to cope with the development of the electronic information exchange to meet international standards. The Customs Department will act as the intermediary to connect information domestically and overseas. The planned subcommittee will also monitor and assess public agencies’ progress in cutting red tape in trade of strategic products while the Public Sector Development Commission will make proposals for reducing state procedures involving imports, exports and logistics, consider solutions to legal or regulatory obstacles, and forward the budget to the national committee for logistics management. The government wants to ease doing business in Thailand and cutting red tape for exports and imports is a key part of that strategy.
The Tourism Council of Thailand has forecast that Thailand will earn as much as 1.8 trillion baht from tourism by the end of this year according to the President of the Council. The number of foreign visitors is expected to increase 3.7 percent year on year in 2017 and another 8 million tourists are expected to arrive in the second half of the year.