Thailand is the Least Miserable Economy in the world

Thailand was the least miserable economy in the world according the latest Bloomberg “Misery Index” which relies on the idea that low inflation and unemployment generally illustrate how good an economy’s residents should feel. Thailand had the lowest ranking in 2017 and is predicted to maintain that in 2018. Thailand’s low unemployment rate and low inflation are key contributors. The Bank of Thailand reported that the country's inflation rate was low at 0.66% last year while the country's unemployment rate was 1.04%. Singapore was next for 2017 followed by Japan, Switzerland, and Iceland. For the 2018 predictions Singapore again came second followed by Japan tied with Switzerland and Taiwan.

Suvarnabhumi International Airport expects a 3.7% increase of inbound passengers during the period from February 10 to 23 as over 2.6 million tourists arrive at the airport during the Chinese festival during February 10-23, or 191,000 a day. During the 14-day Chinese New Year period, there will be a total of 14,700 flights, or 1,055 flights a day, up 3.5%. Regular airlines also sought 420 additional chartered and special flights during the period.

The government has told the BOI to change some of their promotion policies to allow for factors such as disruptive technologies, pollution reduction, environmental impact reduction and support for the country’s aging society. The Deputy Prime Minister also wants the organization to come up with a policy that clearly differentiates between priority sectors. He added that the BOI should ensure privileges for investing in special economic zones are attractive enough, support the agricultural and agro-tourism sector, and to play a leading role in incubating new entrepreneurs, especially tech startups and community businesses. At the BOI board meeting last week they approved measures to support entrepreneurs affected by a shortage of skilled workers, the government's daily minimum wage hike, and those who want to improve production through automation. Those entrepreneurs are now eligible for a three-year corporate income tax exemption on existing projects for up to 50% of their total investments, excluding land costs and revolving funds while eligible businesses can also receive a 200% deduction on corporate income tax if they organize training programs to boost the digital abilities of staff. The Board also approved measures for agricultural businesses; they cut the minimum capital requirement for small-scale Thai entrepreneurs who invest in farm-related business to 500,000 baht from 1 million, can utilize used machinery, and are eligible for a corporate income tax exemption for 5-8 years on value not exceeding 200% of their investment costs.

The Customs Service at Laem Chabang will be utilizing the e-Customs system which allows exporters and importers to file documents and process requests in the electronic system. From 1 March firms may file pre-arrival processing online for cargoes transported by ships 24 hours in advance, they will also be able to submit the necessary documents and make payments electronically. The office has also implemented the e-Import paperless document processing system to help speed up the procedures. The port handled 7.67 million containers in 2017 with a 5 percent annual growth

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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