Thailand Plus Package offers new investment benefits
The Thai Cabinet recently approved a new package designed to attract foreign investment. The Thailand Plus Package is looking to ease the procedure for foreign investors in applying for visas and work permits. Investors can deduct costs for career training of Thai employees in advanced technology, hiring Thai employees with special skill sin STEM education can see 150 percent corporate tax deduction and those foreigners who want to found or operate high quality educational institutes and schools are entitled to financial assistance. Ministers also approved a 50 percent cut in corporate tax for companies that invest 1 billion baht or more by 2021 and apply for tax privileges within the next year. The tax cut will be valid for 5 years and is on top of the current tax exemption for 8 years.
Bangkok continues to rank as good value for prime office rent according to the latest CBRE Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs report. The city ranked 86 out of 122 for most expensive and 46 in terms of the biggest annual increase in price. Bangkok prime office space rents at an average of 1,208 baht per square meter.
Gems and jewelry continue to outperform in exports, rising 29.3 percent in the first 7 months of the year to US$9.02 billion. Key export markets include Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, the US, India and China. Thailand is number one in global silver jewelry shipments with the US as the biggest market, while China is the biggest market for Thailand’s colored stones and also a leading gold exporter to the country. The Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association forecast Thailand's gem and jewelry exports could grow by as much as 5-10 percent this year and could see more than 10 percent growth each year if local manufacturers upgrade innovation, marketing and branding since import tariffs on most raw materials are near zero according to the association.