Exporters urged to take advantage of AFTA tax incentives

The Department of Foreign Trade is working to boost the number of Thai businesses taking advantage of tax incentives offered to exporters to ASEAN countries under the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA). Currently only 63 percent take advantage of tax breaks, they are trying to boost that number to 70 percent or higher by encouraging exporters to ASEAN countries to obtain the Certificate of Origin Form D. The total value of Thai exports that have benefited from the AFTA tax incentive increased from US$19.46 billion (Bt634.1 billion) in 2015 to $23.8 billion (Bt775.5 billion) in 2017. However, the total value of exports that would have been eligible for the incentives was worth $37.76 billion (Bt1.23 trillion), which shows a large number of Thai exporters did not take advantage of the AFTA tax incentives.

Exports reached a record high of US$22.79 billion in August, growing 6.7 percent according to the Trade Policy and Strategy Office. Manufactured product exports grew 5.8 percent while agricultural exports grew 4.1 percent. Exports totaled US$ 169.03 billion in the first eight months, a 10 percent year on year growth while imports totaled US$23.38 billion in August and US$166.68 billion, showing a US$2.3 billion in trade surplus for the year.

KBank is the first Thai bank to partner with Visa to offer blockchain-based cross border business to business payments. Visa B2B is a new platform developed by Visa to offer secure processing of cross-border business to business payments between participating banks on behalf of their corporate clients. Although still in the pilot stages with several other global banks involved including Commerce Bank in the United States, Shinhan Bank in South Korea, Union Bank of Philippines, and United Overseas Bank in Singapore. The new platform will allow for the swift and easy transfer of high-value corporate payments across borders.

JD.com, a leading Chinese e-commerce site that has expanded into Thailand is looking for Thai products to sell on its online platform. The JDThai platform was launched in June and is expected to see continued growth as the site grew 5 times faster than predicted according to the parent company. JDThai is cooperating with Central Group in offering products online and plans on offering Thai goods on the Chinese site JD.com which has 300 million active customers via its e-commerce platform and 170,000 stores on its platform. The company’s sales grew 30 percent last year, faster than US e-tailers.

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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